There’s a gospel song called “Birds in the Church”. Actually, its a narrative by Rev. Benjamin Cone, Jr. (from Mississippi Mass Choir, I believe) who among other things, tells us how people can be a lot like parrots–freely repeating other people’s business. I get tickled when I hear it, but there is truth there.
Before I was saved, I could be a little “Willona-ish” (from Good Times) when it came to discussing the happenings of people’s lives. The intent wasn’t malicious, just something to talk about, dissect, and share my “expert opinion” on the matter at hand.
This behavior continued after I got saved….more of a bad habit, I suppose. Then one time I shared something rather personal/serious in confidence with “Thelma” who went back told their family. Mayhap that wouldn’t have been so bad, if Family was offering sound wisdom, but Thelma came back to tell me Family laughed about it. May sound petty to you all, but I was SO hurt that someone would repeat and reduce my concerns to others so casually.
Another time, I was involved in a sensitive situation where “JJ” had to get involved. JJ promptly started spreading the news and it got back to me. I politely confronted JJ, letting them know it really wasn’t right getting others involved in a matter intended to stay between selected persons. JJ was VERY apologetic–and it wasn’t done to be mean; just habitual, but hurtful behavior. With God’s grace, I forgave Thelma and JJ and we’re cool. I have to say I felt really hurt, embarrassed and betrayed. Through that pain, God showed me how awful it is to idly parrot and betray confidences AND that my idle chatter were NOT Christ-like at ALL! Thankfully,with His help that behavior soon ceased in Jesus name!
In the days since those times, God guides me on who I should talk to about certain things. Luke 2:16-19 tells us the people wondered about what the shepherds told Mary, but she “kept all these things and pondered things in her heart”. There is a valid reason she didn’t share that information with everybody! God also blessed me to be a confidant. People come to me with sensitive information and private challenges, knowing that with the grace of God, I will offer wise council, pray and keep the matter between us. Period.
People have also come to me with other’s business, I have to shut that down with a swift retort like, “I will keep the situation/persons in prayer”, “that’s not my battle to fight–only God can work that out”, or “have you been praying for them?” Talking about someone is not as effective as praying for them. I’m not saying that we can’t talk through someone’s situation to understand things better or help that individual in crisis—we just need to be sensitive to how the Holy Ghost is telling us to handle it so we’re truly walking in the Spirit, rather than the flesh.
Bottom line? The Bible says we will give an account for every idle word spoken (Matthew 12:36). With God’s help, I’m working to make sure my spiritual balance sheet will indeed crossfoot on both sides. ~Debiting un-Christlike behavior (such as gossip and backbiting) is a credit to allowing God’s Holy Spirit to work.~
God bless you all!
Parrot Pic: http://www.squidoo.com/parrottalking
Willona Woods pic: http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&biw=1180&bih=514&gbv=2&