Growing up we were told that we need to mind our own business, and "if you can’t say something nice… don’t say anything at all." Nosiness and gossip seem to go hand in hand. There are various reasons some people spend too much time fishing in another person’s pond. They may be jealous because their neighbor seems to have more of a life than they do. Maybe they need to have info that they can use to hurt or discredit the other person. Maybe they actually feel like they should be helping other people get their stuff together. Perhaps it is easier to deal with other people’s issues than it is their own. Whatever the reason, or excuse for our meddling, the fact remains that we weren’t designed to carry our stuff and everyone else’s at the same time.
Instead of being a busybody, be busy about your own body. If you hear something troubling about someone else, pray for them. Don’t dwell on it. Don’t talk about it. Don’t use them as a ‘prayer request’ for the sole purpose of running them down to others. If certain bad information comes to your attention, be grateful that you aren’t the one in it, but truly be a help to them. They don’t need more trouble in the form of a person taking pot shots at them. People who are in trouble need a true friend. How do you want others to respond to you in your problems? Yeah… that’s what I thought.
One wise man wrote, “A city is built up by the blessing of the upright, but it is torn down by the mouth of the wicked. Whoever shows contempt for his neighbor lacks sense, but a man with understanding keeps silent. A gossip goes around revealing a secret, but a trustworthy person keeps a confidence.” (Proverbs 11:11-13)
And apparently the excess drama that can develop in the female gender is not a new thing as Paul challenged the young women of the church against it saying, “they also learn to be idle, going from house to house; they are not only idle, but are also gossips and busybodies, saying things they shouldn’t say. Therefore, I want younger women to marry, have children, manage their households, and give the adversary no opportunity to accuse us.” (2 Timothy 5:13-14)
Today, keep your nose out of other people's junk. Put your heart there, but keep your nose out.
Check out David's other work at Heart of Ministry.