Is it just me?
I feel all sorts of guilt when I even allude to another person in a negative manner. I keep mulling over deleting negative comments I've made here. And these are tame in comparison to many others' I know, but I still don't think that makes them right.
Yet the parenting group I am in, when asked in the context of raising our tweens and teens, the responses about gossip are so cavalier. It's been said that it's normal, that it's expected. The underlying message is that it's okay?
To me, gossiping is on par with premeditated murder. I get so horribly uncomfortable when people start trying to send me messages or mail about other people, I delete them without reading, I respond back that I don't want to hear it, I leave the TeamSpeak channel or take off my headset and wait till someone gives me the all clear when they are done with their gossiping.
Why is it such an accepted part of our society? What is wrong with us?
I remember, when I was about age 11 or 12, falling at my friend's feet in terror of eternal damnation if I couldn't get her forgiveness for some wrong I had done to her - I can't even remember what it was but I seem to associate it with that I said something bad about her. She of course was mortified at this wild display in front of everyone and muttered her acceptance as she wiggled her foot free of my grasp and withdrew from me as quickly as possible.
But I was terrified that I would burn in hell if she wouldn't forgive me. Yes, I lived in terror of God's wrath as a child. But at the same time, it became ingrained in me that you simply do not go around using your words as weapons against others.
Your words, every word that is uttered from your lips, are your pledge, your troth to man and God. Whether I believe in that same God now is a moot point. Mankind is with me every day. I cannot escape humanity, no matter how much I wish it. And I must couch my words with caution and consideration.
Yes, I slip. I err. But I will continue to fight against the torrent of tale-bearers. And to beg forgiveness of those I hurt.