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Focus: A ‘cloak and dagger’ sin
Matthew 7:12 (NIV) So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
Gossip is listed right along with murder in the Bible ( 1 Peter 4:15). It’s a ‘cloak and dagger’ sin, meaning that the person doing the gossiping usually has a hidden motive and often will seem very innocent, or ‘cloaked’, as they share information that is unfounded, untrue, or unproven about someone who is not present. We don’t need to spend a lot of time defining gossip because we have all either done it or been a victim of it…possibly both.
It practically goes without saying that a person who is depressed or dependent has had some involvement with gossip. It’s a pattern, just like many other things. It can even be addicting. When you have an unmet need for attention, it is an easy trap to fall into. Bystanders are often more than willing to listen to information as the gossip tells stories about others. Playing the dual role of the victim is tempting if the gossiper is lonely. The gossip and the victim are often working together at the same time. A story can get started and then the personality of the ‘gossip’ switches gears to the personality of the ‘victim’ as a way of excusing their behavior. An example would be something like this—“I wouldn’t be sharing such a thing, but I just couldn’t believe he would do that to me…”
Two things are accomplished as the ‘gossip/victim’ goes to work. The gossip has received attention from the listeners and has further justified their wrong doing by playing the victim.
The sorry thing is—the gossip/victim goes home feeling depressed. If they are dependent—they will probably do whatever their addiction tells them to do.
Taking ownership of our part in gossiping and playing the victim is such a hard thing to do. Both are so tantalizing and subtle. They fall in the category of those familiar sins that ‘move in and take up residence’. You know they are living in your temple, but you haven’t told them to leave. Actually, sometimes they are kind of convenient for you to have around—so you just don’t own up to the fact that you have been giving them ‘free rent’.
In fact, one of the biggest reasons people continue to make room for the gossip/victim, is they are in denial that gossip/victim has really ‘moved in’.
The only way a person in recovery is able to begin moving forward is by admitting they have become powerless over their problem and that their life is unmanageable because of it. We may not necessarily see something like the gossip/victim as an addiction, but let’s take a look at what kind of power and influence that old gossip/victim might possibly have in your case.
Do you feel a squirming inside of you similar to the one you had before you were able to admit you were powerless over your addiction or depression? If so, remember how liberating it was to finally admit your problem?
Making an honest search of our defects and having the willingness for God to remove them, are some of the necessary steps in recovery. Having the gossip/victim as a resident in our temple is a defect of our character. The good news is, God can and will move them out. We just have to be willing to let them go.
It is our responsibility to confess the sin of being a gossip/victim to God. We also need to be willing to work with Him as He gives us new ways of communicating. We have to become willing to speak the truth about people and situations. We need to practice keeping our mouth shut and not tell everything we know about everyone we know. A hallmark of being a trusted friend is being trustworthy.
We must give those who have offended us to God. It isn’t our job to turn the world against them. God alone is their judge. He tells us to bless those who have misused us.
Declaration: I will find new strength by relying on God to remove the gossip/victim from my character. I will keep moving forward by being willing to let go of the destructive habits and patterns of my past.
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All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee 2012. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog.