The Condition of the Human Heart, Part III- Lip Flappin’
As a child my mom would always say: “People are going to talk about you. They’re even going to talk about you when you’re gone. If what they’re saying isn’t true then you don’t have to worry about anything. But if what they’re saying is true then you need to change.” Dad calls when people talk about you or others: lip flappin;’ most everyone else calls it gossiping.
We know that gossiping is wrong. We’ve all done it. I’ve done it; you’ve done it- flapped our lips.
According to Merriam Webster, gossip is: information about the behavior and personal lives of other people; a person who often talks about the private details of other people's lives.
According to the Bible
“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor”- Commandment #9.
It’s probably one of the easiest commandments to break and I don’t think that we sit and think about the ramifications of lip flappin’ and that it reveals what’s really in our hearts. It shows how we feel the need to puff up or own egos. So what does it mean to bear false witness against another?
I really like the way Father Robert Barron sums it up:
“Go through the day. Review your day. And ask yourself, how often did I attack someone, put someone down, undermine someone’s reputation? It’s our favorite indoor pastime and we do it to puff up and aggrandize our own ego. ‘If I bring someone down then I feel I have been elevated.’ But when you do that you are not only undermining a persons rights, you’re undermining the integrity of society in a fundamental way. How often you lie for the sake of your own advantage, the sake of your own ego elevation- that’s what the 9th Commandment is about.”
When you need to let it out
Now, there are things that are done to us by other people and we have to let it out and get advice on how to handle the situation. But, letting it out doesn’t always mean that we have to name the person that offended us. You can easily explain a situation to get clarity without needing to name someone’s name. By not naming names you keep the gossip down. But, I guess there are some really offensive situations where names will need to be named. But, we should be extremely wise and careful about whom we let it out to (Proverbs 20:19). People talk, even when you hope that they will keep the matter to themselves, they may not. “36 per cent of women say they cannot be trusted to keep a friend’s secret and that they regularly tell their partner things they are told in confidence.” Realize who’s a friend and whom you can trust.
Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered. Proverbs 11:13
For the trusted person hearing the lip flappin’
I’d say if the person is not a close friend or if you know who they are lip flappin about- bite the inside of your cheeks and lock your tongue in behind your teeth and say nothing. And if you must say something, just say: “I’m sorry to hear that” and change the topic.
If the person is a close friend, listen, maybe even suggest that they don’t tell you the offenders name, offer Godly counsel on how to handle the situation- but it’s never ok for the listener or the lip flapper to talk about the person in a degrading way or attack them with mean words, even if they did something vile.
I’ve got a friend that I go to about life’s troubles and she’ll listen, offer some thoughts, then she’ll break into prayer and pray for the me and the other person. Then she’ll quickly change the subject.
The bigger picture of the affects of lip flappin’:
1) Ladies, you don’t have to go crying to your mother every time your husband or boyfriend disappoints you.
According to a Telegraph article that I read, the typical woman spends five hours a day – more than a third of her waking hours – chatting and gossiping. But men aren’t any better: One in 10 men like to dish the dirt on other people, compared with 4% of women, while more men than women are guilty of spreading rumors, according to the poll taken by BMRB Research of 1, 033 people.
2) We as employees don’t need to gossip about one another or our boss when there is a problem. We should take our issues directly to the person we have the issue with.
3) We don’t have to gossip about our spiritual leaders if they do something disappointing, we should just take our issues to them directly but with respect for their position of authority and love.
4) Friends, we don’t have to gossip to each other about other friends (especially in friend groups).
Why? Why shouldn’t a daughter always go to her mother about every little thing her husband does or says? Because when we just simply share how another person has offended us, the person we complain to might look at the offender differently. When you tell your mother an offensive thing your husband has said she will look at him with disappointment and may resent him, even after you have made up with your husband. And husbands and wives will say a lot of offensive things to one another so women, you’d be going to your mother often- haha. It’s the same for all the other examples I gave. When we cry to others about others, we are essentially tarnishing their characters, their good names in the eyes of others. We must be careful. If lip flappin’ is a pit fall for you, ask God to help you change your heart. You don’t have carry that flaw, the Holy Spirit will help you break it over time. And we must never forget that when we lip flap, someone else is lip flappin’ about us too ;)
Happy Friday! xx
MEN'S GOSSIP TOPICSWOMEN'S GOSSIP TOPICS
- Drunken friends Other women
- Old school friendsRelationship Problems
- Female colleagues at work Other people's relationships
- The sexiest girl at work Sexual relationships
- Spreading rumorsFriend's weight gain
- Promotions Soap operas
- Sexual relationships Other women's partners
- Salaries The Mother-In-Law
- The boss Celebrities
**From the Telegraph article that I mentioned above.