Continued from Part 1
Gossip can lead to a lot of strife, even if you are just blurting up on people because you’ve been injured or offended and you have to talk it out. I am a real verbal person, and I sort thoughts and feelings through words. But lets face it, when we do that, we can poison another person’s perspective of people and places.
Pollution is what it is, and vicious poison, as well as an amassing of a group of sympathizers to yourself, which means against the other person.
The listeners have been robbed of the ability to make their own assessments apart from your words. Plus, they just may go to them and repeat what you said, correctly or not, and to others, then they continue with others. This causes strife, division, and many other things which all breed wounds. Guaranteed.
In a different group of people, I had recommended a series of teachings on this very subject, as I could see our various weaknesses and the impact it was having on us as a group. (I have been a part of various groups, some at the same time as others, and varying in size from 4 people to a large group. I have suggested this in more than one of these groups. I have also been part of 2 churches at at time.)
In this case as well as one other, I was only talking with one person about sharing the teachings as a group, but Oh, baby! Whew, baby! Woah, baby! Was I stripped! The reaction was so severe that I felt like I’d been filleted. I definitely had been challenged and put in my place. I learned to not suggest anything again. Ever! Though people say they want our thoughts, and ask for them.
See how we humans are? Fickle people! All of us! And seriously deceived about who and how we ourselves are.
Now, I am a firm believer in community. I honestly am.
Sadly, my life this past few years doesn’t show it. Starting out the issue was my health. Honestly. I won’t go into that, but I’ve had several serious health issues, and a few minor ones. I also am a nocturnal person. I have never in my life been a morning person, and anything before mid-to-late afternoon is very difficult and exhausting for me. No matter how many years I have tried to re-train myself to days, no matter how much advice I follow, it just isn’t my natural bent.
Add these things to the fact that the only service my church (the one I finally showed up for, that I thought about going to first) has is Sunday morning. Only mornings. There are a couple of groups, I think, but not the main service and I think they are mornings, too.
I love worship! I love the preaching of the word, and I love eucharist (communion). But at 10:oo a.m., after being up all night and part of the evening, I get sort of numb and suddenly don’t “love” anything. Just get me to bed, please.
I do alright during worship and any announcements, etc. But once the speaking begins, and the speaker-of-the-week is quiet, calm, almost monotone, you can write me off. Eyes-rolling-back-in-head, try-not-to-snore time for this girl. Especially if they don’t stay on track with their lesson. I can combat this a lot by taking notes. But for several years, I have had issues with my arm, hand and vision so writing and typing are difficult. So, it is easy to whine off of going. whah whah! sniff! hic! cough! sigh!
Add to all of this the reason I felt God was telling me to go there in the first place: Time to Deal-and -Heal.
Well, I started out doing fine when I first got there. The pastors of that time were awesome! Not letting other peoples’ words or opinions sway them in the least in how they dealt with anyone there. They were just as human and kind as could be. And got to know people for themselves. At the time I began attending there, FINALLY biting it and going where my people were, they had just returned to the original building where I had attended with them for more than a decade. And only a small part of the people there were the originals, though many are connected to them in various ways.
You see, there were years of wounds and the behavior that I mentioned earlier in this post. All throughout that earlier season I repented, forgave and pressed forward as much as I was able, running with all my might and loving almost every minute there. Loved the people, no matter what they did or said. Honestly.
As I asked, God would show me how He saw them, who they were becoming, their humanity as well as my own. In that season, God was also healing me very deeply of much in my past. Many of them loved me as I was, too. And that was the exact place I’d needed to be.
Hey! We are ALL just people and Christians happen to have God’s Spirit in us. But once we are “born again”, we are infants, just like in human birth. We need lots of grace, forgiveness, room to mess up. and time to grow up. We also need lots of conviction, as I mentioned in the last post.
Sadly, a boss of mine for more than a decade also went there, twisted things at work about me at church, twisted things at church about me at work, lied openly, etc. And others loved to jump in and ride that wave.
Honestly, I was shocked when I learned of it, of the “why” as to what I was experiencing.
How on earth could I be that interesting? (laughing again). Seriously?
It was my favorite job, and my favorite church, which made it really sad. Not only that, but this person and several others were people I liked pretty much and I can’t comprehend why they even cared to mention my name at all, much less go to all this energy and time to do this damage in my life.
I knew why I was to go back to this church from the beginning. Don’t let the past affect your future. Come to terms and move on.
That way, no matter who you see or hear, you are healed and there is no wound to barb . I just resisted.
More than a couple of these people had died since then, I had forgiven them, prayed for them, continued in my job in good spirit and energy, and really cared about them. I felt the loss when they each died as time had passed. I felt the loss of true unity in this life on earth.
Were they true Christians? Will they be in heaven?
I sure hope so! I believe they were. They just never dealt with the particular sins we are talking about. Gossip, strife, and the like. Perhaps they didn’t even see the destruction, and if they did, they felt right and powerful.
But if they truly accepted Christ as their Savior, they will be there when I get there.
And the hope I have in it all is that in heaven, these things … sin in any form … cannot live there. Not mine, not theirs, not anyones’. It is ousted already and won’t be there. So that means they have to be transformed, as I have to be in order to live there.
We are all safe in Christ and in His heaven. Safe from betrayal, safe from lies, from gossip, from all hurts, and from each other. The blood of Jesus Christ paid for that for us.
So, why did I resist going back for so long? Good question. Some people, some that I respect, honor highly, love deeply and enjoy seeing, attend there. They received that poison and when they see me, their reaction to me shows that they’ve eaten the poison. Kind of like “eating the poisoned apple”. And yes, one bad apple does spoil the whole bunch!
So, when I go there, and see this reaction in certain ones it hurts all over again. My mind goes to a bad place, one I am not used to going. Who have these people told and what did they say? Who twisted things from there and to whom?
I feel that bite in my heart, that blow to my soul and spirit again. ugh! I don’t tend to think this way otherwise, but it is obvious in this case that they are still thinking these thoughts and can’t get near me without running, like I have demons or something. The good thing is they are not hippocrates or acting like they like me. (smile) I really hate that, don’t you? The fakey thing?
I combat this with reminding myself of the truth I know about the majority of these beautiful people. They are awesome! They have high integrity, servant hearts and servant action throughout their lives. They love, they forgive, they mentor into healthy relationship, they love God’s word and they worship God wholeheartedly. How much more wonderful can it be?
I have forgiven. Over and over until it was real in my heart. I want the best for the ones who injured my life in these places. Wanted that before some of them died. So I am sure that I’ve forgiven.
So, what is my problem?
Believe me when I say I’ve overshared and talked way too much. About people, situations, anything. I know I answer to God for it all, every word. That is terrifying to me! I don’t want to add any more to that list!
I cannot talk about these experiences without naming names and bringing up bad details. And they love these “offenders” as much as I do, or more. And, I am just not going to name names, for the simple fact is that it would be … da-da-dum … gossip!
Yep, sure enough. I have not talked about this with anyone there because I don’t want to gossip, even for my healing or whatever else it would grant me. All I can see that naming names would do is to cause a divide in their thinking. Either they would believe me and think poorly of people they trusted and loved before, or they would not believe me and think I am lying or crazy.
Either way, what good would any of it do? I certainly don’t want to do to my offenders what they did to me, skew peoples’ perspective of them.
And telling them without naming names would make them curious. Too curious. Details would be put in their minds forever, even without names. Danger! Danger!
Do you see the danger in this?
Have you experienced similar dilemas?