And try to refute such things! I’m the “horses mouth” and when I say, “No, I have never lived in Chicago,” those supposedly “in the know” respond as if I’m lying! Their neighbors, family members and Facebook seem to hold more credibility than me, who really should know whether or not I ever lived in Chicago, had an “important” job or could now visit my son (who will first need to pay off his student loan and secure employment, go figure) in his new house!
How do we begin this transformation to being led by the Spirit? Well, one way is to no longer spend time with people who gossip. Just like I needed to stay away from alcohol and places with alcohol before I actually desired to stay away from alcohol, we can stay away from places of gossip-temptation while God creates in us a desire to not gossip (and He does that when we ask him for a desire to not gossip and then go to the Word and prayer). Only then can we begin to stand firm in Him instead of in the world.
I am beginning to let God test me with people who inevitably will say something negative and mean-spirited about someone, or will share someone else’s news instead of letting that person share their own news. I have verses in my head to guide me and keep me from slipping, and pre-planned statements so that I do not engage in the babbling. These situations always make my heart race, probably because it truly is a form of spiritual warfare. If Satan can make us slip with our tongue, it proves that our hearts are not with God and it blocks others’ glimpse of God in us.
And the Bible verses on speech are endless! The two that convict and encourage me the most are:
“A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.” Proverbs 11:13