Gossip–Exaggeration or fabrication of a story, regarding somebody other than the tale bearer, in the absence of this person who is being discussed – for the malicious purpose of demeaning, slandering or tarnishing this person’s reputation.
“Everyone knows you can’t disprove a rumor.”-Jay Asher
Rumor–A piece of false, slanderous and/or mean-spirited story that somebody tells about someone else. These stories are usually told because the victim of the rumor is smarter, more popular, wealthier, more successful, harder working, or nicer than the person who is spreading the rumor. Said rumor spreader often spreads rumors because he has become jealous and wants to hurt the person who he is spreading a rumor about.
Thirteen days into the New Year was all it took for my life to become consumed with fighting off gossip and rumors about myself. Things being said about me that were (and are) so far from the truth; and coming from the most unsuspecting source. I tried not let it bother me; I tried not to let it control my thoughts; I tried to move past it. I was hurt. I was mad. I cried and I prayed. I didn’t understand what I had done to deserve this treatment. I kept my head down and I did what was asked of me, but that didn’t seem to be enough. All I wanted was to be accepted and be liked for who I am and what I bring to the table. However, I just didn’t fit the mold. I’m a little different (or a lot different). I understood and was aware that I’ve made mistakes, but I didn’t deserve this treatment.
I shouldn’t be surprised by the actions of the backstabbers, gossipers and false rumors. I’ve actually dealt with that my whole life. From a young age, I was bullied in these ways and I learned to build a very big and thick wall around my heart for protection. After trusting “friends” with secrets only to have them thrown back in my face and spread around, it only caused my guard to go up even higher. But, I am a people-pleaser and I can’t stand when someone doesn’t like me or is dissatisfied with my hard work. In the past when these situations would come up, I would go overboard trying to change myself or trying to become someone I wasn’t. Unfortunately, those actions only came with dangerous side effects, including spiraling down into a very dark place filled with suicidal thoughts. After fighting my way back to the light, I have refused to allow myself to go back down that dark and dreary road. Not this time. Not ever again!
During this time of frustration, there have been many times that I wanted to follow my flesh and act out of anger to confront the gossipers and rumor-spreaders. But my aversion to confrontation and the advice of a great mentor helped me to step out of the frustration and back into clear thinking. Over a three-week period, each time I was about to explode, she would talk me down and remind me that I didn’t want to make things worse. Plus, the Bible says to “turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it” (Psalm 34:14).
One night I was feeling completely defeated and told her that I was tired of taking one step in the right direction, only to have the enemy attack me twice as hard and she reminded me of the story of Job. The enemy threw everything he had at Job, yet Job did not waver in his faith in God. The things that were being thrown at me were mere pebbles compared to all that Job endured. And if he could stand strong in his faith, then I sure as heck could, too. At that moment, I decided I was going to refuse to allow the actions of those coming against me to force me to quit what I was doing, to change me in any way and to stoop to their level. I chose to keep my head high, nose to the grindstone and continued doing what God called me to do.
I’ve kept myself deep in prayer and God led me to Psalm 54:4 (GNT), “But God is my helper. The Lord is my defender.” God reminded me that whatever the enemy planned for evil, He uses it for good and His glory. I heard a song during my struggling time by Colbie Caillat. The song talked about all the things we do trying to belong by doing our hair and makeup and maxing out our credit cards just to fit into the image of the world. But at the end of the song, the lyrics say to take off the makeup, let your hair down and look into the mirror and ask, “Do you like you?” The last line says, “Cause I like you” and I kept hearing God tell me that He likes me. But He not only likes me, He loves me…just the way I am. He created me in His image and for His good, not the image of the world. I was created for His glory. He reminded me that whatever the enemy has planned for harm, He will use it for His good.
Genesis 50:20, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.”