Are you worried about the wrong things?

WORRIED ABOUT THE WRONG THINGS!
 

Martha and Mary

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42

This passage speaks volumes, it truly does! There is so much to learn here. Jesus came into Martha’s home. Upon His arrival, it seems that Mary, Martha’s sister was in awe of Jesus’s presence and wanted to spend every second soaking Him up. While Martha worried about making everything perfect for Jesus while He was there, and she soon became overwhelmed. If Jesus came to your home now what would you do? Would you be trying to clean, cook and get everything right? Or would you be sitting at His feet focused on Him? If you’re a neat freak like me always cleaning before you have company, and like to have everything things in order for your guest, these questions could be hard to answer.I reflected on these verses, and I could see how this story reflected different areas and seasons of my life. At times, we feel as though we have to get things right and in order before we can come to God and sit in his presence. For example, we may feel like we strayed from the path God had set for us; now things have fallen apart, and we feel obligated to put things back together before going to God.  The fact is things are in such disorder because we worry about the wrong things!

Come to God with all of your mess; especially when you’ve strayed. God knows that we will stumble. We can’t be fruitful in life without Him! He takes joy in being our restorer. Don’t let the enemy play with your mind and have you feeling like you can’t come to God ANYTIME, ANY HOUR! I like to think of being overwhelmed or upset as God using my frustration as an opportunity to say: “Tomasa, Tomasa, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one.” The truth is things don’t become right or fall into place until we submit to God’s will for our life. God wants us to come as we are so He can perfect us! We are mere humans, and nothing we do alone will be good enough for our God! (Isaiah 55:8-9, John 4)

Have a lot on your mind? Are you confused about your purpose or identity? Are things just not going as you would have hoped? Do you feel overbooked with tasks? Or maybe you can’t put your finger on what’s wrong but know things aren’t right?  If so stop and sit at the Lords’ feet in silence and relax. Let Him renew you and make you whole! Let Him declutter your life and organize your comings and goings. If we stay consistent and focus on Him, He will supply and take care of our needs!(Matthew 11:28-29) The Lord loves you, and if you chase after Him with all your heart, he will not leave you with a need or worry!

Prayer: Lord God, let me not worry about the wrong things. Let me come to you wholeheartedly and put You first in all I do. Comfort me in knowing that if you are my center, you will protect me. If I place you first in all things, you will bless the rest. I am nothing without you, Lord. In Jesus precious name I pray, Amen.

Some Related Scriptures: 2 Peter 1:4, Jeremiah 29:11-14, Matthew 11:28-29,John 14:27, Proverbs 1:33, Romans 10:9

Our Loving Father

Our Loving Father

One of the most fundamental needs that we all have, as a human being, is to be loved. We all feel it. We all want someone to hold us close and tell us that they love only us.

Sadly, a fundamental truth about our great God is often overlooked. Our Father built us to love greatly. He also loves us greatly. Everyone needs to hear and know this, and many forget about it.

So, today, I’m here to tell you just how much your Father loves you.

The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

Zephaniah 3:17

Not only does He comfort and calm you with His love, God sings over you. Your Father’s lullaby is the best in the world. He holds you close and whispers to you all the plans He has for your life. And, trust me, they are all good.

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:37-39

Because God loves us (YOU!), he made us more than conquerors. It isn’t enough that we come out victorious, He puts us in high places and never lets us go. No matter what gets in the way, He will push through all of it to be close to you. His love is so vast that it encompasses us even when we feel at our lowest.

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

1 John 3:1

This is one of my favorites, so we’ll camp here for a minute before I end this post. First of all, let’s notice how it talks about His love being so great that we are now called the children of God. 

Guys, God adopted us into His family. He claims us as His. He protects us like a good dad protects his children.

Here’s what I love about this. Anyone who has a close family knows one fact: we can pick on our family all we want, but the moment someone outside the family starts in on a family member, all bets are off.

God is even greater than that. First of all, he doesn’t pick on us in the first place. (*middle child rejoices in this fact*)

Secondly, because we’re now His children, God is on our side. Anyone touches us, God is going to be all kinds of upset about it. Who doesn’t want our Loving Father fighting on our behalf? Takes the wind out of the sails of the bullies, that’s for sure.

If our Father is holding us close and loving us so epically, what’s stopping you from feeling all kinds of loved?

While I’m Waiting

While I wait

Waiting is hard. I know that you know that, we can all agree on that. No one wants to wait. In fact, we live in an “I want it now” society where they tell us we don’t have to wait. You want food fast? Plenty of restaurants are willing to accommodate you.  Do you want a relationship? Plenty of fish in the pond, boo!

Unfortunately, that’s where the world gets it wrong. Half the journey is experienced in the waiting. That’s why I’ve decided to explain to you, today, why I have chosen to wait instead of date.

Let me show you a few things I’ve been learning from scripture before we delve into that particular sore subject.

“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength…”

Isaiah 40:31a

“The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the souls who seek Him.”

Lamentations 3:25

“Wait for the Lord, be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”

Psalm 27:14

All these have come up in the past week during my regular devotional time with God. I’m a firm believer that the entire Bible is God’s word to me, and if He keeps bringing up the same thing over and over again, you’d better believe I’m going to stand up and listen to what He’s trying to tell me.

Did you know that in over half the scriptures that tell us to wait, or be patient, or let God’s timing prevail, that they tell us to “be brave and have courage”? Even God knows that waiting is hard.

So, with that in mind, let me show you a few more things that helped me decide to wait, not date. I hope they’ll help you make a decision one way or another, too.

First off, let me start by pointing out God’s original design for man and woman. Eve didn’t go searching for a man. God created her specifically for one man, and he brought her straight to him. Genesis says that God looked at Adam and said, “It is not good for man to be alone, I will make him a helper comparable to him.” He didn’t “try out” fifteen women before he landed on Eve. God brought them together, and they stayed that way.

Next, I’d like to introduce you to Proverbs 18:22

“But he who finds a WIFE finds a good thing, and receives favor from the Lord.”

(emphasis, my own)

First, let me point out that it isn’t the woman finding a man here. It’s the man finding a woman. And, yeah, that might seem like an outdated concept to you, but I firmly believe God is still in the business of bringing the right people together.

Secondly, I would like to point out that it doesn’t say “he who finds a girlfriend.” In fact, the Hebrew doesn’t even have a word for “girlfriend”. God’s original design for relationships was for them to last forever. “Casual dating” only teaches people that they can back out of a relationship if they have to work too hard.

So, yes, waiting is hard. The good stuff always is. Think about when you were a kid, and you had to wait for a batch of cookies. Didn’t they taste that much better because you waited?

Who cares if it’s not the norm? We left normal in the dust the instant we turned to Christ. Isn’t it better to wait and not have all that emotional baggage when you find THE ONE? (Or, rather, when he finds you?)

I still believe in true love. I still believe God will bring me the perfect mate. Yes, I am still waiting and yes, it is still so hard. I’m human. I have wants, desires, and urges that only get stronger as I get older.

Guys, I’m going, to be honest here. I’ve never even been kissed. I want so badly to know what that feels like. But I’m going to wait on God’s timing. I’m going to wait for that one guy that I will spend the rest of my life with. You know why?

Because…

“I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”

Psalm 27:13-14

* Re-blogged Content originally posted on Sep 5, 2016 9:49 AM

What is Grace?

As Christians, we often hear about grace, but what is grace? Webster Dictionary defines grace as “unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification b: a virtue coming from God c: a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine assistance.” Biblically Romans 3:23-25 defines grace also being unmerited divine assistance given to us through Jesus Christ.

‘for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; ‘ ROMANS 3:23-25 NASB

Grace is something we experience daily. As believers, we know that His grace and mercy are new every morning in our life from Lamentations 3:22-23.

‘It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. ‘ Lamentations 3:22-23 KJV

So how can we see grace, how is grace manifested? I think the easiest way to identify an undeniable “grace moment” in your life it is to recall a situation where you know the outcome should have been bad, all the ingredients were present for the worst possible outcome but somehow divinely it didn’t turn out that way, that’s grace.

When I was backslidden and living in the world, I remember one night in my 20’s I was driving drunk from a friends house in Aberdeen, MD to my house in Baltimore, MD more than 35 miles away. I remember people not wanting me to drive but I fought them off and I left anyway and they couldn’t stop me. After getting in my car I backed into someone’s else’s car. Everyone just stood there in shock as I pulled off.  After that, I blacked out and didn’t remember anything that happened after I backed into the car and drove off. I made it home it home that night, but I knew that I should have been dead or in jail because I was severely inebriated and in no condition to drive. However, God showed up and extended His grace to me and everyone else that was on my path that night.

Of course, the ultimate example of grace is Jesus dying on the cross for our sins! I find it amazing that even after sending His only son to die for our sins, God STILL extends grace to us daily and I thank God for His mercy. I’m a living witness that grace is “mercy, not merit.”Grace is getting what you don’t deserve, and not getting what you do deserve.

I would love to hear your grace story share it with me below in the comments!

Is It Time Yet?

is it time yet

 

“For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.”

Habakkuk 2:3

As I ended 2018 and began 2019, this is one of the scriptures that has spoken the most to me. Why? Because, as a single girl looking forward to married life, it’s hard to remember that God’s timing is perfect. No matter how frustrating it may seem to me, God knows why this isn’t the time yet.

Is that what I wanted to hear? Absolutely not.

Is it what I needed? Yes.

This scripture is encouraging to me — and hopefully to you, as well — because it isn’t a “no” kind of answer. It’s all in the timing. Even if the vision before me, the things I want so badly, aren’t here yet, they will have their time.

Timing isn’t my favorite subject because let’s face it, I can be just as impatient as the next guy. Waiting? What’s that? Why do I have to wait? Why can’t I have what I want, when I want it?

Why do I have to wait longer? Hasn’t it been long enough?

These are questions I’ve prayed and journaled over and over again. I’m a hopeless romantic, so why can’t I see some romance? (Can I get a witness, somebody?)

The truth it, God never said I wouldn’t see my romance. He’s just been telling me to wait.

“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”

Psalm 27:14

Even in my period of waiting, God supplies the courage and strength for me to go on. To endure and to thrive in this time of preparation.

I know I’ve been talking a lot about timing lately, but that’s what God has been placing in my heart. His timing is best and He always asks us to do things that will benefit us in the end.

For example (STORY TIME!!!):

I write. Constantly. Mostly books, because I love to craft stories. So, when the beginning of December came and God told me to take a break from writing until January, I admit to balking a little.

Okay, so it was more than a little. I desperately wanted to just push on. To keep going while I had momentum and to start something new while I was at it. However, after a lot of prayers and arguing with Jesus (not my brightest idea), I did as I felt led to do. I stopped writing for the duration of December.

Of course, when I started, I didn’t know that my computer would crash a week later, leaving me without anything to write with. I didn’t know that during that time I wasn’t writing, I would discover a beautiful new idea for an awesome new book and be able to spend all that writing time fleshing out characters and scenarios and places in the story world.

But God knew. And His timing was perfect.

If I hadn’t listened, how stressed would I have been when my computer crashed? I would have lost so much work and been so upset. But I wasn’t, because all my finished projects were backed up.

If I hadn’t listened, would I have been able to hear the new ideas for this story I’m so excited to start? Maybe not. Because I would have been too focused on what I was doing.

God’s timing applies to each and every area of our lives. He knows what’s best for us and He wants us to live to our full potential. It makes Him exuberantly happy when we listen to the things He whispers to our hearts.

Which is why, today, I want to leave you with one last scripture.

“He has made everything beautiful in its time…”

Ecclesiastes 3:11a

If it isn’t His time yet, that thing you’re waiting for probably just hasn’t blossomed into something beautiful. It will, if you’re patient, and if you keep the faith while you’re waiting.

Keep fighting for the things you’ve been promised! I’ll be right here beside you.

Cultivating Kindness

Copy of WHEN HAPPY SEEMS FAR AWAY.png

 

“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud”

1 Corinthians 13:4

I don’t think it’s coincidental that all these are in the same single verse of scripture.

I’ve been noticing lately, in the world around me, how much we lack kindness. A helping hand when someone is struggling. A gentleman to hold the door for the ladies. A simple “thank you” or “have a good day”. All these things are few and far between, but I don’t think they should be.

“So, Megan, what do you want us to do about that?”

Well, I’m so glad you asked! Today I want to talk about cultivating a culture of kindness. (Nice alliteration!)

As women of God and daughters of a King, we should live our lives above reproach and in a way that glorifies Him. Part of that is living our lives in a kind way.

When people think of kindness, they often think of saying please and thank you. That’s the easy part of being kind. Being mannerly. But people tend to fall short when it comes to going the extra mile. When scripture says that love is patient and kind, it also says that love is not jealous, boastful, or proud.

If love is kind, then showing kindness is showing love. Not to be recognized or to say we did something good, but because it’s the right thing to do. Because we love other people.

“But, Megan, what about all those jerks out there who are never going to be kind to me?”

Here’s the tricky part, guys. Jesus never put conditions on being kind. In fact, in Luke, He says this:

“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.”

Luke 6:35 (NLT)

If God is kind to the ungrateful and the evil, and we are His children, shouldn’t we follow in His footsteps?

You see, kindness isn’t about what we get in return. Kindness is about bringing Heaven to Earth. When we are kind, when we go that extra mile to help someone who needs help, our light shines bright and we stand out.

We aren’t a people meant to blend in with this culture, in this world. We’re supposed to be the shining light in the darkness around us. So what if that person may not thank you or give you a huge reward? Won’t your heavenly reward be that much greater for all the times you portrayed your Savior?

If God can show kindness to the evil, why can’t we show kindness to our neighbors? Maybe even that stranger in the grocery store. The short one who can’t reach the shelf. Or the one who looks completely lost. Toss a smile to people who pass you by. You don’t know how far your kindness will go or whose life it will touch.

Besides all that, did you know that most marriage failures can be traced back to a lack of courtesy to one another? If you’re looking to get married in the future, cultivating kindness in your life is an excellent habit to start now.

In my life, kindness has been my greatest means of witnessing Jesus to others. Because, honestly, who smiles that much? Who gives so much of themselves and expects nothing in return? Why would they do that?

Let’s cultivate kindness in our own lives so it can spread to others. Let’s be the start of a movement that brings joy back to a floundering generation.

Are you with me? I’d love to hear your thoughts on cultivating kindness in the comments below!

When Happy Seems Far Away

is god perfecting you_ (1)

There are so many things I could discuss with you guys. So many emotions that go through my mind and heart on a daily basis. So many hopes and dreams that I’m sure you all share with me. However, as we don’t have time or coffee today, I’m going to share with you one thing I’ve been learning recently.

As single women, we often feel that this is a time in life to “get through”. We long for the day our man sweeps us off our feet. We secretly plan our future wedding (don’t deny it, you know you do). We imagine what lazy days will be like after we’re married. How our hubby will treat us. And somewhere in the middle of all that dreaming, we lose our sense of peace and contentment.

We start to wonder why it’s taking so long. If only… 

It’s those thoughts that will drag you down into the quagmire of depression. Did you know that we’re stronger than we think?

So I’m not defeated by my weakness, but delighted! For when I feel my weakness and endure mistreatment—when I’m surrounded with troubles on every side and face persecution because of my love for Christ—I am made yet stronger. For my weakness becomes a portal to God’s power.

2 Corinthians 12:10 (TPT)

Even though we may feel like it’s the end of the world. Like nothing will ever go right and maybe, sometimes, like God is keeping things from us, I can assure you that isn’t the case!

God sees all, knows all, and is all. He knows the timing that’s going to make your future relationship beautiful. He knows everything you need and everything you want. He knows your heart and He is willing to inconvenience you to bless you with everything He has in store.

Our job is to let His strength move through us. We can’t give up! Even if we’re taking it one day at a time (and believe me, I am), we have to live each day to God’s standard. We have to believe that He knows what he’s doing. There is no one who cares more about us.

So how do we stay positive when the world is looking bleak?

“for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.”

Philippians 4:11b

According to Paul, contentment is a learned art. So what do we do? We let God teach us.

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines contentment as “feeling or showing satisfaction with one’s possessions, status, or situation.”

So where are you feeling unsatisfied? If you can pinpoint that, it’s not as hard to turn it around and find a new perspective on it. Find the beauty in where you’re at right now. It may seem difficult at first, but trust me, it gets easier with time.

So what are you going to thank God for today? How are you going to walk down the road of contentment while you’re still in this season of preparation?

IS GOD PERFECTING YOU?

 

Is God Perfecting You_

 

Have you ever prayed and asked God for something and then immediately it seems like everything goes wrong or gets worse, and everything that you don’t want to happen happens? If you’ve ever felt like this, you’re not alone!

A few months ago I was on my break at work, and I was talking with God in prayer, and as I was just sitting in His presence, He spoke to me. He said, Daughter, my people seek me in prayer, and I respond to them, but when I answer their prayers they cry out to me again asking me to make it stop.

I was in shock, and I ask the Lord what He means. He said my people pray for strength, so I allow a difficult situation to come their way to strengthen them, but instead of being strong and pressing through, they cry out to me saying make it stop Lord. They pray to grow in love, so I bring people to them who have been written off by the world as “too difficult to love,” yet they come back to me asking me to remove that person from their life. They want to grow in the fruits of the Spirit, yet when I place them in the fire to stretch and mold them, they cry out for me to stop. How can you grow in love if your love is not tested? How can you grow in kindness, if your kindness is not tested? How can you grow in patience if your patience is not tested? How can you grow in joy if your joy is not tested? How can you be strong if your strength is not tested?

When I tell you it took everything in me not to shout in that stairwell at work!!! That thing hit me, and all I could say was WOW, forgive me, Father!

The Bible tells us that we are tested and tried:

James 1:2-4 ESV

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

1 Peter 1:7 ESV

So that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Some of us are stuck in situations because we don’t want to go through anything, but God wants us to walk through the fire so He can refine us, so He can shape us, stretch us, mold us, and purify us! So count at all joy my sweet sister when you are faced with various trials trust that God will see you through. He is our strength when we are weak. So as you are pressed past your comfort zone, trust that the Creator of the universe will lead you through. Be encouraged!

 

 

He Heals The Brokenhearted

He is Near to the BrokenHearted !

‘ He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds [healing their pain and comforting their sorrow]. ‘PSALM 147:3 AMP

The ladies of VirtousBella and I were doing a devotional with scripture reading. One of our readings talked about processing loss and grief. After having a great dialogue with the ladies, I wanted to share my experience with processing loss and pain and hopefully encourage someone. 

Have you ever felt like the weight of the world was on your shoulders? Or maybe things have happened to you that you decided you would never relive, so you swept it under the rug and kept pushing forward. I’ve been there! I know for me personally I use to tell myself “you don’t have time to fall apart, you have bills to pay” and I would sweep it under the rug and go into straight hustle mode. No time and no emotion. I feared that if I allow myself to open up and grieve that I might not recover. I use to think “what if I don’t recover, what if I lose it?” “What if the pain of the situation is too much to bear?! Then what, how will I survive?” So my defense was always to sweep it under the rug. I would think about it for a bit, but when I felt the rushing waves of my emotions, I would shut it down and tell myself I had to keep it together because no one else was going to take care of me.

What I didn’t realize was that I was playing the role of god in my life. Over time I learned that this was unproductive. I began to learn about healing, deliverance and genuinely leaving it all at the altar. Once I allowed God to deal with me, I had to take a trip back down memory lane. I had to revisit situations I had blocked out. I had to process those emotions, but the good news was that God was right there with me. I got to cry on His lap, and once I released it at the altar, I LEFT IT THERE and allowed Him to heal my heart. The danger of not dealing with situations is that it will most likely lead to sin. Whether it be assault unforgiveness, rape, family issues, church hurt, anger, bitterness, jealousy, depression or any and everything in between. These emotions and the situations that triggered them, if left undealt with never end up good and become the devil’s playground. Now I’ll be honest my road to deliverance wasn’t pretty! BUT I trusted God and I survived. I was delivered and healed, and that’s honestly freedom I can’t explain. I encourage you to let go and trust God. Freefall into His arms and He will catch you! Recieve your deliverance and remember to walk in your deliverance!  God bless you, sister!

‘  Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4 KJV

Taming The Tongue

taming-the-tounge

Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips. ~

Psalm 141:3

Several years ago, I was serving with a team of women in the church.  I was the person in charge of the task, although I had a leader over me that I reported to.  Every month I met with my team, and we would come up with plans for accomplishing our assigned task.  Every month I would present it for approval, and every month we were shot down.  We felt like we were just treading water and honestly questioned if they really wanted this task completed.  We could never make headway.

That is when it started, the frustration building.

“Why are we even bothering to meet?”

“You should just tell the church to do whatever it wants, and stop wasting our time.”

“Maybe we should just do it on our own; they don’t even care.”

The excitement that once motivated us toward volunteering for this project had faded.  As the appointed leader, I heard their complaints.  I must confess, I was frustrated too.  The complaints about the project, however, began to shift to complaints about the church, and then to specific people.

“If more people from the team would speak up, they might listen.”

“It’s all Pastor’s fault; he’s never supported projects like this anyway.”

“I’m not surprised; Pastor has always been dismissive of ideas.  Sometimes I think he just gives enough permission so that you’ll leave him alone.”

The more talking was going on, the more frustration grew.  Thoughts were beginning to influence how we all viewed the church, the people overseeing us, and even our place in the body.  This ultimately led to a confrontation with another member.

What I had not realized was that I was working with a very unhealthy team.  I didn’t catch on to their complaints shifting into gossip.  What I saw as a legitimate conversation about our frustration had turned into a gossip and complaining session, and I was just as guilty.  I wasn’t just guilty the moment I began to share my opinions, I was guilty the very moment I allowed their feedback to turn into gossip.  I had let their voices influence me.

Then when the fellow leader and I ended up in a confrontation, those voices were unsurprisingly silent.  I am very grateful that the Lord put someone in my life who could help me see what was happening, and that I was able to apologize and reconcile with my fellow leader.  Gossip is a sneaky, sneaky thing.

Gossip is a like a spider web. Have you ever walked down a sidewalk and into a web?  You couldn’t see it coming, and you may not have immediately realized you walked into it.  But, as your senses catch up you realize what you have done if you are like me, panic follows.

When we think of gossip, we often think of the intentional spreading of lies about someone.  However, gossip can also be spreading truths… truths that were not ours to share.  In church, gossip can often be disguised as “prayer requests” or “venting”.  When serving on a committee or ministry, it can often come in the appearance of complaints.

We can often get caught up in gossip and not sense it until it is too late, just like the spider web.  And, like a spider web, once it is on us… gossip clings to us, and it’s hard to shake off.  We may even panic as we realize what we have done.

Once someone knows you are receptive to gossip, they will return to tickle your ears again.  When something is so sneaky and pervasive, how do we know the difference between someone who really needs to just talk something through or someone who is spreading gossip?

Some cues I watch out for:

  • Is she speaking about herself & her own problems?  If not, ask her if she has permission to share this with you.
  • Would she say these words to the person(s) involved?  If not, she shouldn’t be speaking them to you.
  • Is she trying to involve you in a situation that doesn’t concern you?  If so, point her back to those involved and encourage her to take the issue up with them.
  • Is she trying to get you to handle or solve the problem for her?  If so, suggest ways in which she can resolve the issue herself.  Take yourself out of the equation.
  • Is she speaking lies or truths just to make conversation or make herself feel better?  If so, don’t hesitate to point out that she is gossiping, and it is inappropriate.

When you begin to put boundaries in place on how you handle gossip tossed in your direction, you will change everything.  True gossipers who are just out to run their mouths will avoid you.  Those who may not realize what they are doing will learn to tame their tongues.  An added benefit is the more you put up boundaries against gossiping, the less often you will find yourself getting caught up in them.

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.

Ephesians 4:29