Gossip: How To Believe a Lie

The "Confederate Flag", a rectangula...
The “Confederate Flag”, a rectangular
variant of the Battle Flag. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Remember back during the Charleston tragedy, the Confederate flagwas taken down from the court house. In a knee-jerk reaction, Walmart and Amazon decided to no longer offer it for sale.
My nephew, a man I trust, a man I know to have integrity, posted a fact on facebook stating that Amazon, while not selling the Confederate flag, still offered Isis’s.
Of course this would appall anyone. I had no reason to doubt, and so I told my friends. I stridently preached it as gospel. Then one day I thought I better check.
No Isis flag on Amazon.
Truth lies
Truth lies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A quick look at snope.com confirmed this was an urban legend. I unwittingly believed a lie mistakenly told to me by a principled man.
Flash forward to today. Our church, like so many, is having a conflict. My husband came home and told me that the deacons had given two ladies a letter telling them to resign from positions they held. Neil, I know for a fact, is honorable and trustworthy.
On Sunday, our pastor took time to bring to light all that was going on. In his message he stated that the women in question resigned on their own. No one asked them to step down.
I looked at Neil. He never lied. I looked at the pastor and questioned his veracity.
At home, I asked Neil where he’d gotten the information. A man who worked with him in the same ministry had told him. The fact of these ladies being forced from their position drove this gossiping man to leave the body.
It makes me think. My disparaging Amazon did nothing to hurt the chain. My trust in my husband caused me to question our pastor. However, knowing I had no first-hand knowledge of the situation caused me to keep my mouth shut and not perpetrate the rumor. (Even a fool is considered wise when she holds her peace! Pr. 17:28).
Thus I think of Ecclesiastes 10: 12- 14a:
12 Words from the mouth of a wise man are gracious, while the lips of a fool consume him; 13 the beginning of his talking is folly and the end of it is wicked madness. 14 Yet the fool multiplies words. 
How do we stop gossip and lies?
  1. Go to the source. In the case of the flag, websites like snopes put to rest urban legends. In the case of my husband, ask the deacons and withhold judgment until the truth is verified.
  2. Do not spread it. Even if true, if no good comes from sharing information unless harm comes from not sharing.
  3. Do not listen to it. Believe me, I LOVE a juicy tidbit. Yet, a fire goes out without fuel. Perhaps your silence will shame the slander.
  4. Speak the truth in love.
  5. Ask yourself if listening to the tale is beneficial and how it will help remedy the situation. If it does nothing but make yourself feel better, put the big ol’ kibash to it.
Do you have tips on stopping gossip?


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