What Would We Do Without Gossip or Argument?

September 22, 2010

I consider gossip and argument spectator sports. I’m not a complete heathen. I have some ground rules. If either are violent or cruel, I’m out. But if they’re funny or true, I’ll stick around for at least the first quarter.

The proverbs speak out against both, making it very difficult to resolve this weekend’s unsolicited rub up.

Gossip: The Rub Up

Proverb: “Gossip is spread by wicked people; they stir up trouble and break up friendships.”

This past weekend, I attended an out-of-town wedding. It was great until a woman I barely know decided to feel me up. She was hammered, I’ll give her that, but her approach wasn’t of the I’m-wasted-I-love-you-can-I-put-my-head-on-your-shoulder variety. It was creepy and way too sexual.

The incident occurred the night before the wedding. I was peacefully watching people slip into drunken comas when out of nowhere, this woman was next to me, giving me “I want to take you home eyes.” Then she gave me a sideways hug, which was fine until her hand very aggressively moved from my waist to the outside of my breast, squeezing as it went. I didn’t want to cause a scene so I scurried away and hid from her for the rest of the evening.

The next morning, I told my husband, another family member and a good friend about the experience. One suggested I confront her and one suggested I tell the bride and groom about the incident. Not wanting to disturb the wedding or “break up friendships,” I refused to do either. But one of the three people I told spilled the beans to some other family members so technically, I gossiped.

I blew the entire proverb, but what was I supposed to do?

Fighting: Duking it Out on Facebook

Proverb: “The start of an argument is like the first break in a damn; stop it before it goes any further.”

A few of you have asked me to elaborate on the division between my sister and myself. Well, I can’t pinpoint the moment we started falling apart, but a Facebook fight really escalated the situation. My sister is as closed mouth as a Columbian drug dealer so when she changed her Facebook relationship status to “in a relationship with Blank,” I contacted her (no response) and then Facebook stalked her new boyfriend, eventually sending him a very nice message.

“Hi, I’m Amy’s sister. I heard you’re dating. Please tell me about yourself.”

He immediately replied and we started chatting about insignificant things — baseball teams, U.S. cities, etc. Then my sister sent a text asking me “not to contact her boyfriend” because her relationship is “non of my business.

Apparently such a status is the business of every person on Facebook except for me. My sister and I argued via text until our fingers hurt. Then we stopped talking to each other.

Again, I killed another proverb but what was I supposed to do? Stop an argument I didn’t start and render myself helpless?

The Gossip/Argument Pitfall

According to the proverbs I gossiped about the rub up and forgot to stick my finger in the damn of the Facebook fight. Since I’ve already gossiped about the rub up, should I go ahead and cause a fight by discussing it with the woman and the bride and groom?

If I’d read these proverbs before the wedding, I could have avoided gossip and argument by just keeping my big mouth shut. But I don’t think that’s healthy and am fearful for those who follow both of those proverbs.

For me, the rub up wasn’t a huge deal. I’m an adult. I could have said something, punched her, whatever. But, what about little kids? If they’re molested in any sense and their parents ask them to live according to the Bible, how do they get around the gossip/fighting conundrum?

They can’t talk without gossiping or confront without causing a rift. I suppose their only alternative is to quietly suffer. I wonder how God would feel about that.

Stopping Point: Proverbs 22-31

Note: By some miraculous miscalculation, I’m head of my reading schedule and will be finishing psalms next week.

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2 Responses to “What Would We Do Without Gossip or Argument?”

  1. Dottie said

    Well, scripture also says we are to judge righteous judgment. It says a soft word turns away wrath. It says speak the truth in love. It says be at peace with all men as much as you can (some people won’t allow it). It says don’t get drunk with wine and also give strong drink to the dying. It says defend the defenseless (little kids who are molested); (God loves the poor, the alien and the orphan and the widow.). My experience: It takes a life time of reading and learning by doing. God didn’t ask us to leave our brains at home. Jesus was called a drunkard and a gourmand. Keep reading and find out why.

    • thumpme said

      I’m definitely interested. I’m having a really difficult time trying to assess the messages in the Bible. Like most things, it represents so many different ideologies. One minute a person can do this, the next minute they can’t. It’s very interesting because it’s helping me understand why “religion” can be so divisive. A person can literally take any piece of it and say, “this is what I’m using.” I do it every time I make a post. It’s very interesting.

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