It’s just girl talk. A typical statement girlfriends use when they get together. Unfortunately, women have been known to “gossip.”
We even evangelicalize it (yes, I made that up). We say; well I’m telling you this so that you can pray. Don’t laugh, because we’ve all done it.
Is It Girl Talk Or Gossip?
Everyone can have their own opinion on the subject, but the only opinion that matters is God’s. So, let’s examine this according to scripture. That way we can discern between gossip and girl talk.
Proverbs 6:16-19 (AMPC) says; 16 These six things the Lord hates, indeed, seven are an abomination to Him: 17 A proud look [the spirit that makes one overestimate himself and underestimate others], a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that manufactures wicked thoughts and plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, 19 A false witness who breathes out lies [even under oath], and he who sows discord among his brethren.
So, if we look closely at this verse, we can identify the six things the Lord hates.
- A proud look
- A lying tongue
- Hands that shed innocent blood (murder)
- Wicked thoughts
- Feet that run to evil
- False witness that breathes lies
However, we cannot ignore the fact that the seventh is an abomination.
- He who sows discord among his brethren.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes reading the Bible can get a little confusing when you read words you don’t understand. So, let’s define a few of these words that way we have a full understanding of this passage.
There are three words in particular we will define, according to vocabulary.com.
Abomination: Hate coupled with disgust
Sow: To Plant a seed
Discord: Lack of agreement or harmony, disagreement among those expected to cooperate, strife resulting from a lack of agreement (Synonyms: of Discord: Strife, division, disagreement, confrontation, disagree)
Now in light of these definitions, this means the Lord hates: a proud look, a lying tongue, murder, wicked thoughts, feet that run to evil, and a false witness. However, the Lord finds those who plant lack of harmony, disagreements, and strife disgusting! Bottom line, planting or stirring up lack of harmony can be summed up in one-word…GOSSIP.
How Can We Change This?
We can change the perception that we’re known for gossiping; by embracing a dialogue of Girl Talk that lines us with the Word.
By nature, women love to talk. We love to get caught up in everything going on in the lives of others; even with people we don’t know. However, there is a way to honor God when we talk with each other.
Here are a few guidelines to girl talk. This will help us consciously stop disgusting God with our intentional or un-intentional gossip.
1. Stay In Your Word
2 Timothy 3: 16-17 (NLT) All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.
When we make meditating on God’s Word a habit, it will be at the forefront of our mind. Which means we when we engage in “girl talk,” the Holy spirit will bring to our remembrance; how we should engage in the conversation.
If our girlfriend shares something personal and needs encouragement, we will know what scriptures to share. On the other hand, if she starts to gossip, we can gently stop her and encourage her to share what’s edifying. Which brings us to our next point.
2. Maintain Honorable Dialogue
Ephesians 4:29-32 (NLT) Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. 30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Often times when we gather as women, we want to vent about work, our husbands, our kids, or disagreements with others. And although sharing is a powerful thing, we want to maintain honorable dialogue. This includes a spirit of confidentiality, respect, and love towards one another.
This is even more important when we participate in group studies and decide to share something about our marriage. We don’t ever want to share in a manner that would be disrespectful to our husband.
For example, sharing about your husband in a disrespectful may look like this:
Girl, I am really fed up with my husband. He “always” talks down to me. I can do everything right, and he would never see the good. I’m done!
On the other hand, you could share this in a respectful manner like this:
Girl, I really need some encouragement regarding how to have positive conversations with my husband. How can I approach him in a manner that’s positive, so that we can have healthy conversations?
You see the difference? In the first example, you have pretty much told the group how horrible your husband is. And now they will have that image of him.
In the second example, you have shared with the group that you are seeking positive solutions to communicate, which paints a completely different picture.
Philippians 1:27 (NKJV) Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel,
1 Thessalonians 5:21 (NLT) but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good.
Romans 12:2 (The Message) So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
You may think this is the same as dialogue, but it’s not.
Dialogue has to deal with what we SAY. Conduct is about HOW we say it, and HOW we listen.
When we come get together to talk, whether privately or as a group, we ultimately gather to exhort and encourage one another. Therefore, we should purpose to communicate in love.
When we communicate in love, we are sensitive to each other’s needs. We speak to others how we’d like to be spoken to. And we’re mindful to maintain respectful body language.
This level of respect shows that we really value every member of the body of Christ. Maintaining this love for one another will also allow us to expand our biblical people skills. We will grow deeper in the Word, and develop strong friendships.
In conclusion, ladies I ask you; will you make a conscious decision today to stop intentional or unintentional gossip? And engage in girl talk?
~ Timberley Gray