Ever have one of those moments where you say something that you are pretty sure you didn't know before you said it? That happened to me tonight....again.
I am an external processor, so I guess it's bound to occur the longer I keep talking. The odd thing is the person prompting this odd meditation is a girl who doesn't really gossip......she actually hardly speaks at all. I've known her for 3 years now, and I am sort of at this odd place of "do I continue to be friends with her?" The reason I would stop pursuing a friendship wouldn't be because she lacks a passion for gossip, but because she isn't transparent at all. So, here is the little odd theory that came out of my mouth.....based on my experience in friendships with many different women:
Gossip is essentially false intimacy.
Women who have close friends know that in order for the friendship to have any meaning at all, both women need to share their OWN hearts, little by little, deeper and deeper.....it takes time, a long time for some, especially if they have been burned or back bitten by other women they opened up to. I am the type of person who lays a few cards on the table, cards that might make many people 'fold' and never speak to me again. Honestly, I don't mind, because if they can't handle certain things about me up front, I'm not really the type to tiptoe around my convictions - let's just say. :P The crux of the matter though is, with women who are not-so-ready to make themselves vulnerable, they sometimes will make OTHER people vulnerable by gossiping about them. (I don't mean 'holy gossip' by speaking well of others or telling of a good report of the goings on of someone we all know that is public information).....I'm talking about all the negativity that spews out with every breath. "Oh, did you hear what so and so did to so and so, and oh, this person did this to me, can you believe it?" ACK.
I honestly know that this kind of gossip makes me want to barf.....and I know that I've listened to it, and unwittingly done it as well. I know this because when I'm with women who barely speak, I SEEK to connect with them, but because they do not make themselves vulnerable whatsoever, I've caught myself speaking in unsavory ways to try to get them to engage with any kind of response. PUKE.
Well, by God's grace, this is 2012. There have been SO MANY things brought to my attention by the Lord, and this is the year of BIG change for me.....I want to be holy....I want to love and be a more faithful follower of Christ. I hope that my friends know that they can rebuke me for any unwholesome talk.....I sure wish they would love me enough to do that. I have many godly friends who would. PTL
Back to the original note, for those who are slow to open up about ANYTHING real (fears, hopes, trials, even just random trivial things) and thus, just don't talk at all......be bold for the sake of fellowship, and you will be blessed. Truly. Take a risk and tell someone you're not perfect....tell them that you have trials too...that you have growing to do (get specific)....take that chance, because you will gain a friend by being transparent, that you would lose if you just said nothing and listened.
up out ~ jenb