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jammerjoy244
01-10-02, 12:31 AM
I really need help with saying bad things about people, whether true or not! I have said some bad things about a neighbor whom I dearly love & admire. Why I did this-I do not know. I said she flirts because I USED to act so much like her before I found God that it is scary! She is a good person & while she may not be a Christian by some people's standards-she is one ready to be birthed. She is funny,kind,sweet & extremely extroverted. I feel so guilty for EVER saying ANYTHING bad about her, that it is eating me up inside. If I go to her & tell her, I am afraid of losing our friendship! If I don't say anything, I am afraid what I said will get back to her. WHY DO I agree with people when they gossip OR Just start to gossip by myself? Ninty eight percent of the time I don't even mean it or could care less! Why do I fear NOT agreeing with a person that gossips? Why can't I just interject with something nice & change the subject? When I pray about it-it seems worse! I want to be known as a person that DOES not gossip-Now suddenly I feel like a TOTAL BACKSTABBER! Even though I have asked forgivness for it, when I see her I just want to give her my house or something of value. Help! I need this guilt gone & to start over somehow. What if she finds out what I have said before I can even talk to her about it-IF I EVEN could? I want to be her friend for real & I wish so that I could take back aything I have ever said. I REALLY do not want to talk bad about ANYONE anymore again. HELP!

Breni Sue
01-10-02, 01:55 AM
1st off, God bless you for wanting to do the right thing! That shows that you are indeed a true friend. :)

My advice - Be upfront with her before she hears it from someone else. She will likely appreciate hearing what you you said about her from you, rather through the grapevine - no matter how bad it may be. If she values your friendship, she will respect you for having the courage to be honest and confess to her.

As far as gossipping, I have to admit that it is not always an easy thing to do, especially if what the people are saying is true. James speaks a lot about such things -


3:6-13 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water. Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.

In short, our words speak volumes about the kind of person we are. If we are saying kind things about one person, and then gossiping about another, people are more likely to see us as the latter - a gossipper. This is what I believe James is alluding to by the above passage. We cannot both gossip and praise and expect people to see us as true followers of God's Word.


4:11-12 Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you--who are you to judge your neighbor?

This is pretty self-explanatory: Only God has the authority to judge us. We do not have that authority, and therefore we have no business slandering other people.

Hope this has helped in some way. Again, I would urge you to tell your friend before it is too late. I realize that it may be difficult to do. But consider how much worse she will feel if she finds it out from someone else instead of you. If you want to be her friend, this is the way to do it. Be honest with her.

I will be praying for you, jammerjoy. Gossipping can be a hard thing to overcome. But remember that if we put our trust in the Lord, we can accomplish anything! :)