With tears in her eyes, my friend told me she needed to talk. She stumbled over her words as she shared the hurtful words she had heard. Words that were meant to tear down and divide.
The interesting thing… was that the words she shared were directed at me, her friend. She had personally witnessed the verbal sword thrusting and without telling me who was involved, she shared the pain that accompanied hearing this weapon exchange.
Now we can all offer our two cents on “what she should’ve done” as a witness of gossip, but truth is… she was hurt too. An innocent witness was hurt. Could it be possible that our sin affects more than we think?
In response to our conversation, I wrote my hurting friend a letter…
First of all… THANK YOU so much for sharing with me this morning! Please know that I don’t carry that as “weight” because I don’t take it personally. Thankfully, my identity, my worth, my value does not come from what other people think or say about me. Sure I’d love to be thought “well of”, but it’s not worth tearing others down to fight for a spot at “the top”.
The way I see it… if somebody is willing to gossip to you, it’s only a matter of time before they are willing to gossip about you.
Gossip, slander, and betrayal reflect what’s in your heart, other people’s actions are not to blame.
In your specific situation…. you have a “friend” who has wanted to “help” you as long as you are serving their needs (affirmation, approval, ‘secret information’, etc.). So at first, you are the HERO. They (co-workers/ friends/ family members/ neighbors, etc.) love you, and they are drawn to you! Only time will tell what is in their hearts and what their motives are. Everything is fine and dandy until you don’t meet this person’s (often unspoken/ unknown) expectations. So in a way… you exist to “serve” them and you have become an idol to them. Rejection is inevitable because you can never meet all of somebody’s expectations. This is unrealistic and unfair. Thus the cycle continues…
FRIEND–You are an extremely confident and joyful person and that can be threatening for people who are searching for significance and happiness.
My hope for you is that you don’t carry any shame or guilt in this unfortunate circumstance. Please know that this is more of a reflection of “them” and not of you. But it is a good reminder to all of us that our words can help or hurt. We are responsible for our words and our words reflect what’s in our heart. We can apologize for our part, but we don’t need to carry the weight of other people’s actions.
Obviously this is a toxic situation and you have smelt the nasty stench of jealousy and insecurity that gossip exudes.
Be encouraged today!!!! You are loved, appreciated and VERY well respected. THANK YOU is not sufficient, but it’s where I’ll start!
P.s. Feel free to share this with anyone who might need some encouragement today. I know almost everybody struggles with this stuff at some point in life!