Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~Small Town Rumor Mill~ February 21, 2014

“By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted, but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.” (NKJV 11)

If any of you have ever lived in a small town, you know precisely how true this verse of Scripture can be.  Everybody either knows everybody or knows someone else who does.  This can be a blessing or a curse depending on the character of the people in said town.  The small town feel brings a sense of comfort in raising your children in a safe environment.  When tragedy hits close to home, there is nothing like the love of a tight knit community to rally around those in need.

Unfortunately, the door swings the other way too.  If you make a mistake in my hometown, you better believe everyone will know it before the sun goes down.  Not only that, but some will form their own opinion of how circumstances played out and repeat their distorted version of the truth to anyone who will listen.  Proverbs 11 has a description for that kind of person: He who belittles and despises his neighbor lacks sense, but a man of understanding keeps silent. (AMP 12)

It is always wise to mind one’s business when the rumors take to spreading like wildfire in a dry forest.  This is an area that I often struggle with for myself and my preteen daughter because for whatever reason, it seems as though the females are far more prone to be loose-lipped than our fellas.

Recently, both I and my girl have had our confidence betrayed.  I would describe us both as open books.  We are not fearful of sharing personal details of our lives when we feel like it may benefit another, even if we don’t know them that well!  However, this does at times backfire.  In both instances, feelings and struggles were shared in hopes that the one we were reaching out to would see things in a different light.  While the way it happened for me was different than it was for my girl, the things we said in private were repeated.

And it hurt.  Tears were shed, questions of “why” bounced around and thoughts of wanting to become more closed off were considered.  But that’s not who we are.  We could easily allow the gossip to make us bitter and harden our hearts toward others, but we choose to turn the other cheek.  Part of the calling on both our lives is to encourage hurting people.  Hurting people sometimes hurt you.  It may be unintentional on their part.  They’re hurt, they are acting out of their own pain and that may come out as an attack on you.

The important thing to remember about gossip is that it not only brings pain to the ones you are talking about, it’ll ruin you too.  You can’t spread malice about another human being and expect to come out unscathed on the other side.  It may also change your perspective if you consider that the ones who gossip with you are likely gossiping about you to someone else.

“A gossip goes around telling secrets, but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence.” (NLT 13)

Words may be a bit harsh, but this could not be more true.

Words may be a bit harsh, but this could not be more true.

 *All of the verses above are from different translations of Proverbs 11.  The 31 day study continues 🙂

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5 Responses to “~Small Town Rumor Mill~”

  1. Valerie,
    I really appreciate your open heart here. My daughter and I experience something similar – not the gossip part but similar in how others treat us as if we are too close, share life too much. Oh how it hurt when they talked. Even things they said to our faces.
    I’ll encourage you to keep binding with your daughter like this though. God will use these situations to strengthen her. My daughter recently wrote something about our relationship (you may have read it : http://wordsfromafeather.wordpress.com/2014/01/25/do-you-know-40yearwanderer-a-few-words-from-her-daughter/ ) and it just blew me away. It was confirmation from God that all of it was not wrong or too much. It was all blessed by Him.

    Hugs and blessings to you!!
    Heather
    @40YearWanderer

    • LOVED your daughter’s post…and I told her so too! As momma’s to young, impressionable ladies, we have a pretty hefty responsibility to lead by example. Judging by your baby girl’s blog…you are doing a fine job!!!
      Hugs and blessings back to you!

  2. Jennifer Says:

    LOVE! This takes the topic of gossip down the road from where I went, and I like how you’ve handled it. Thank you!

    • Jennifer Says:

      I didn’t want to overlook the important point: there was pain here. For that, I’m sorry. I’m encouraged by the relationship you have with your daughter, too. Hugs to you both!

      • Yes, there was some pain but nothing that was too big for God to heal. I truly believe that if we as a people would soften our hearts to others, we would be far more careful in the words we speak. Gossip is like a poison, it affects everyone it touches.
        Blessings and hugs to you!


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