I wish I could say that seeing how hurt she was cured me of any desire to ever speak ill of anyone. I felt bad. But I also experienced the power of words for the first time, and the power of sharing a secret, fact, or observation about another person was intoxicating. While I knew it was wrong, I often resorted to gossip to garner attention. I operated under the assumptions of “I’m just saying what everyone already knows,” “I’d totally say this to their face.” Or, the ever popular, “Well, I’m telling people so they can add it to their prayer intentions.” While this used to prick my conscience, like any sin, the more I spoke the less I felt bad.
Tag Archives: gossip
The English word “scandal” comes from the Greek root skandalon, which means “a stumbling block.” The sin of scandal is to cause someone else to turn away from good and do wrong. This is so serious that it’s a sin against the 5th Commandment. Yeah, that’s the one that says, “Thou shalt not kill.” To help someone else turn away from good and sin is to help them destroy their soul. God doesn’t take that lightly.
We couldn’t believe what she had worn, whom she had been seen with, what crazy thing she had done this time. There was always something to talk about when the subject was that girl from English class (no one ever remembers her name.) Exchanging shocked looks and harsh opinions of the juicy stories about her was good procrastination material before we focused again on the homework we were supposed to be doing. One of our friends cut in with, “Guys… she has a soul too you know.” Then, just as quick as the conversation had taken off, it came to a screeching halt.
We didn’t mean to objectify anyone, to only see their exterior. We didn’t mean to take away their dignity. We didn’t mean to be nasty. But talking together we got carried away and the truth was, we sinned against our sister in Christ.