My pastor challenged everyone at church to try to go a week without gossiping. Easy enough, I thought. It won’t be a problem for me. Gossip is such a nasty thing, and as the good Book teaches, I hold my tongue and stay far away from it. It’s never been an issue for me.
And that’s a big however, I am interested in the personal news of others. Let me make clear, I detest gossip and the gossipmongers who spread it—those prying people who live for juicy tidbits to gnaw on like a starving dog to a bone. But the Lord never said anything about telling a good story. So, as I say to my friends, “If you’ve heard one, come sit next to me.”
I’m not alone in this opinion. It doesn’t matter the age, from six-year-olds to six feet under, people have always been curious about what it going on in the lives of others. Being inquisitive is simply a part of my nature, and listening to morsels about the lives of others is nothing more than my entertainment for the day.
But after the guilt and stink-eye my pastor gave from the pulpit, I’ve decided to go cold turkey. I will no longer be privy to the rumors, hearsays, or scandals. I will stop listening to the bigmouths and tattletales. I will turn my nosy nose in a new direction. I am evolving into a better person.
As with all sins, there comes temptation. My husband came into the kitchen to tell me about a friend of ours and what was going on in their marriage.
I held up my hand. “No, no, that’s none of my business. I’m not interested. I’m evolved.”
“Evolved. It means I’ve outgrown my snoopy nature.”
My husband choked on nothing and started to cough. “You?” he finally asked.
I ignored his lack of support and went to read a book. I couldn’t look at any magazines because they all contained gossip about famous people, which I thought would count as cheating. I couldn’t watch TV because that was another source of conflict. The news is nothing but blabbermouths, and the shows all contain dramatic storylines about people snitching on each other and revealing dark secrets. Escaping gossip turned out to be sneaky undertaking.
Out of boredom, I decided to close my eyes and take a nap. By day two, I was going out of my mind. I was ready to pull my hair out from the silence and isolation. This is torture! I called my friend to admit how weak I was, but before I could, she began the conversation with, “You’re not going to believe what I heard,” and I began to relax. My shoulders dropped, and my head stopped hurting. A smile returned to my face. Twenty minutes into her monologue, I had forgotten why I had even called her.
There’s nothing like a good story.