“Rumors are carried by haters, spread by fools and accepted by unintelligent people.”
As Christians we are followers of Christ, and not once did our Lord and Savior teach us to spread rumors or to gossip about anyone. In fact, God instructs us, to let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers (Ephesians 4:29) and to keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit (Psalm 34:13). Therefore, as a Tewahedo Orthodox girl, we must stay away from gossip and rumors.
No matter how tempting it may be, always be cautious. Don’t participate, entertain or get involved in spreading rumors no matter who is telling you to. Rumors and Gossip are never pleasing to God. God specifically says, “You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people; nor shall you take a stand against the life of your neighbors” (Leviticus 19:16). If you have someone bringing you the latest gossip, let them know you are walking the Christian path and your path is narrow and you have no time for such. I would also think twice about so called friends, who focus on rumors and those who spend time spreading it. As God says, you must stay away from them.
There is no denying that rumors and gossip exists around us, sadly even in our churches. And once started, these rumors become difficult to stop and often will spread like wildfire. When one person has heard about it, everyone around us has and it soon starts circulating everywhere. It becomes the talk at people’s houses while drinking boon (coffee) and it becomes part of many phone conversations. I find people tend to make up their own version of what exactly happened, or they will exaggerate and take it out context, regardless if there is any truth. And some people are quick to judge, but never question the validity of the rumor.
What ever happened to hearing both sides and going directly to the person anymore? Since that is the Christian thing to do. I honestly believe some people get all excited to hear the latest gossip about others. And some simply enjoy spreading lies. We currently are living in times where even those who call themselves Christians are first to spread rumors and to gossip about someone. I sometimes wonder how they can call themselves Christians, as they say and do ungodly things. But then I’m reminded by the Scriptures, the devil has many fooled. He wants nothing more than to see us fall into his ways. He wants us to get angry, to be vengeful and to have hate in our hearts. But as followers of Christ, we must only adhere to the word of God. As Christ says, “I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” ( Matthew 5:44).
If you are the subject or have been the subject of a rumor or the latest gossip, please know there is nothing fair about rumors and gossip. Regardless of how hurtful it may be, remain strong and focus on your well being and especially your faith. Speaking to your spiritual father will also help you, as he will offer you guidance, encouragement and sound biblical advice. Most importantly, you have to stay focused on God and disregard people who are easily persuaded by ungodly things. Those people are not spiritual and are easily enticed by worldly things.
I have learned, those who choose to gossip will and there is no stopping them. However, as a Tewahedo Orthodox girl, I can tell you the best way to defuse any rumor is to live in such a way that people will find the rumor hard to believe. Stay focused on God and His ways, make smart choices and be known as someone who holds on to her Christian values 24 hours and 7 days a week. And always remember, sooner or later the truth will always be revealed.
May God grant us wisdom and a discerning heart!
Author Selam Seyoum
Keep your tongue from evil, And your lips from speaking deceit.