You have a problem and you share it with your trusted friend. It's been weighing heavily on you and you just want a sounding board..you know you can trust your friend, for she is a praying Christian....
Mulling over your friend's view on your problem, and praying with her, you feel somewhat relieved... as the old proverb goes, "a problem shared is a problem halved" A new perspective has changed the way you think, and a chink of light is coming through a door that has been closed....It seems that your friend has actually confirmed your course of action as being from the LORD. You praise Him for her friendship and wisdom.
Over a short time, you find that your judgement about her has been wrong, because people start passing comments and giving advice about your problem-obviously, they are "in the know". Your friend is a gossip... Over many years as a Christian and counselling both friends and sisters in the LORD, I have been privy to some very delicious gossip. Sometimes I have wanted to share it with someone, but I hold back. Even if it means biting my tongue to keep it quiet...
I hold back because not only do I love my sister in Christ, but I love the LORD. As a confidante, I have a responsibility to keep a confidence just that- something told me in confidence! If I give way to my flesh, I will not only betray my sister, but cause my LORD to be saddened. Counselling or helping is a serious business. I dare not repeat what I have heard, no matter how tantalising!
The LORD hates backbiting, meddling in another's affairs and using prayer as a means to gossip. I would imagine that we have all experienced sharing our hearts, only to find that others come to know of it. It is sad.
What is sad, is that instead of being a trusted servant of the LORD, ministering to other's needs, the gossip is the starter of fires that can't very easily be put out. And in the gossiping, comes hurt and betrayal and worse than that, the inability of the LORD to use you in bringing His Word and help to someone.
Although it hurts to be the recipient of tantalising gossip and not being able to share it, the hurt one experiences as a gossiping Christian would be far worse. You will not be trusted again. Not by people who know you, or the LORD.
Because I have been a gossip and have seen first hand what gossip can do, I want to be seen as faithful and dependable now by the LORD...and with His help, I will never be rendered useless through gossip.
© Glenys Robyn Hicks
He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips. Proverbs 20:19