Ateneo De Naga high school 1980

Those who do not remember history are bound to live through it again.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Gossip: The whispers of Gehenna.

I wrote this article to unmask a spiritual desease that constantly creeps in and around our tongues that will lead our souls to its ultimate demise. ALL of us (including myself) have committed this sin against our Creator. It is time that we hold our tongues to prevent it from getting hold of our souls.

Years ago, I remember an incident that happened in the company where I used to work at. I was quietly eating my lunch at the cafeteria while reading a newspaper when a group of female co-workers decided to sit down around the table next to mine. I was not too thrilled to be next to these ladies because they are kind of loud when they converse amongst themselves. This chatter box group brought with them a stack of the latest copies of magazines and tabloids like The National Inquirer, Globe, Star and Us. Their faces were glued to these magazines and after a few minutes of silence, one of them said, “Hey, look at this!” pointing to an article that has a picture above it. Their heads congregated in front of the magazine and their eyes widened while their jaws dropped to the floor in perfect unison. A lady in the group said, “Well, this actress is now a bonafide slut!” Another article seemed to have been detected by the group’s radar and they all started chattering away like excited chipmunks. They started saying things like:

“She is going out with that?!” (Pointing to the man next to the celebrity in the picture)

“Ah huh, ah huh!. Let me tell you girls, she is just in it for the money and fame!”

“Her underwear is longer than her shorts! She looks sooooo cheap!!!”

“After having that baby, she now looks like a frog!”

“The clothes that she wears ought to be worn only during Halloween parties!”

“I betcha their marriage will only last a month!”

“Did you hear about their daughter doing this? She is out of control like her mother! The father is no better than the mother because he has women stashed all over the place. They all need to be in rehab!!”

“Guess who moved in together in an apartment? They look so hot together!”

“Hey, hey, did you know………”

It would be a needless effort for me to identify this type of conversation because all of us are familiar with its tone. Gossip had been in existence since the early years of mankind. It is some sort of twisted action or behavior of people that accuses and charges another human being whose actions they viewed as immoral, scandalous, intriguing or humorous.

How does gossip start? Does the following sound familiar to you?:

“Did you hear about what this person did?!”

“No, please tell me”

“Well, just between you and me, he/she…”

After a brief period of time, a mob of tongues has charged, convicted & condemned the subject of the gossip. Gossip does not discriminate. It exists among the young, old, rich, poor, average and intelligent. Its venomous veins are attached to every culture and nationality in this world.

What do you feel when you gossip? Do you feel a sense of satisfaction that you are a better person than the subject of your gossip? It is my personal belief that gossip is a sinful tonic that is used by careless minds to boost self righteousness.

If you are a gossip recipient, do you feel that a deep sense of curiosity is satisfied in you upon hearing the gossip? Does the mystery of the gossip trigger your curiosity? Do you crave for more like it was a potent drug?

Do you feel safe from the moral liability since you are just a hearer and not the source nor the transmitter of the gossip? If you don’t feel morally liable, let me ask you this question: When you recognized that what you were listening to is gossip, what made you continue to listen? Why didn’t you walk away or reprove it?

Recently, I was able to locate a friend through the internet. Through our conversation, I found out that my friend enjoys attending social gatherings whose attendees are from the same region where my friend grew up at. My friend told me that during these gatherings, gossip swarms like bees around a hive. When I told my friend that I find this behavior quite disdained, my friend dismissed my opinion as silly. My friend said that they were just “simply updating themselves” about the affairs of other people whom they find interesting. My friend said that they were just “merely sharing information” to enable themselves to know where everybody has gone to or is at in their lives.

What does gossip generate? From what I know, it sows hate, lies and creates discord among people. What people do not realize is that gossip is a very potent toxin that harms the gossiper more than the person who is the subject of the gossip. Why do I say this? Unbeknownst to the gossiper, whenever this person flicks out his/her tongue, he/she places himself/herself under the crosshairs of God’s wrath. God thunders in His 9th Commandment, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor”.

Well, supposing the gossip is true. What then? In Psalm 101:5, the Almighty God says, “Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will destroy”. Leviticus 19:16, “You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people; nor shall you take a stand against the life of your neighbor: I am the Lord.”

There are endless but futile attempts to moralize gossiping. It had been used as a way to warn other people by demonizing the character of another person. Be fearful in falling into this belief because your seemingly righteous act is actually an act of slander. Your act of disparaging towards another person creates a window in your heart for the evil one to come and take residence.

There are some that believe that without incorporating gossip during conversations, the substance of the conversation becomes dull and boring. It has occurred in the past when idle talk became the essence of the life of conversations. Both gossip and humor has become intertwined during social gatherings.

Nowadays, I have seen people take an evil act or behavior and detoxify it by giving it a new description or respectable name. Pornography is called adult material; Divorce is called dissolution or parting ways; Revenge is called an Act of Vindicating Honor; Lie is called modified facts and information; Gossip is sometimes called a human nature’s yearning for concealed knowledge.

Gossipers have been known to don the coat of a crusader for transparency like Wikileaks whose existence is to publish private, secret and classified information to the world. They cruise their crusade by seeking out cracks and gaps in the private lives of others for them to peer through. They do their grimy deed while guarding their own lives with sealed bricks and barbed wires.

Do you feel like gossiping? Does it feel uplifting when you relay or receive a gossip? Do you feel like you are a righteous judge when you gossip? Look at the mirror and observed yourself when you hear a gossip. Does your eyes widen and your mouth opens up when you hear a juicy scandalous news about a person that you know? What is your first instinct? Do you feel the urge to pass on the gossip to selected friends? What level of thrill do you experience while being a conduit to a gossip?

Do you feel that your thirst for gossip is unquenchable? You promised yourself that you had enough of gossip but when you hear its poisonous whispers, you pretend to ignore it but your ears are ardently atone to every word in that whisper.

It is sad that people’s hearts nowadays have hardened and have accepted gossip as a part of their daily lives. Many support the spread of gossip as long as they are not the subject of the gossip.

In the history of mankind, there had been countless attempts to tame the tongue without any success. In the book of James 3:8-9, it states, “But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God.”

How you use your tongue reflects the nature of your heart. Do you use your tongue to edify and praise others? Does your tongue value virtue and produces good fruits by building up the spirit of other people? Does it give comfort to the individuals who are discouraged? Does your tongue bring life or does it bring death?

Honestly reflect on how you have used your tongue and remember this: The road to hell is paved with gossiping tongues.

Your tongue, your soul, your decision.....Your Eternal Destination…


Post a Comment

<< Home