Saturday, October 20, 2012

Do Not Disturb

"American Homestead" by Nathaniel Currier, 1869

At any moment, we are troubled by many things. Our peace, in this world, is always on the brink of danger. A feeling of calmness, that things are okay, is often elusive.

The main offense, that robs us of our peace, are the words of others.  This may be news, gossip, slander, troubles, or facts.  When someone speaks words of discord to us, or speaks words of facts that will upset us, they have spoken something dangerous that will disturb our souls

Everything we see, or hear, or experience, does not have to be shared with others.  What we say to others, can cause them harm, even if the information is true.   What we share with others, even in confidence, can cause them pain, even if that was not the intention.  Do not trouble the mind of others.  Do not disturb their peace.

The Chofetz Chaim tells us that "Loshan hora (lit., evil talk) is defined as information which is either derogatory or potentially harmful to another individual.. . . . A statement that could potentially bring harm to someone - be it financial, physical, psychological or otherwise - is loshon hora, even if the information is not negative."

I cannot even count the number of times someone told me something, or shared some news with me, that I considered to be gossip.  They considered it to be telling me something important or what I needed to know, but I considered it a disturbing of my peace.  Often, people tell me things just before I face a trial.  Or just before I am about to go to sleep.  Then I am troubled for hours.  But I keep the "news" to myself, so as not to spread the harm of a disturbed mind. 

Will there ever come a day when genuine gossip will cease?  Genuine gossip is sharing truth with others.  Even this is a vexation of spirit.  Why bring people down with facts and news and sad things?

When will we learn to speak life into others? When will we learn to share positive, uplifting words that will encourage a weary soul? 

Be quiet. . . Be meek. . . Keep it to yourself. . .  It is a blessing,  a good deed,  to spare someone the pain of negative talk.  More often than not, they really don't need to know what you are about to say.

Mrs. White

P.S. It just occurred to me that homes where there is constant drama and misery are homes where gossip and sharing of the latest troubles are daily conversations. While homes where the residents use restraint and discretion in speech are happy and peaceful.

From the Archives -

Frugal Living - How the Old Time Mothers Survived Poverty.

Fill the Mind with This - A Humble Parlour as a School of Theology

Homemaking Help - The Secret to a Clean House.

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Colleen said...

There is so much wisdom in this post I want to copy it out so I remember it. How many times do we tell people things and feel that just because it's true, we have the right and it isn't gossip? Speech is an area in need of continual improvement for me so I very much value this post!

Anonymous said...

Yes, I have stopped this type of harm. This has put me in a solitude. But for the lovely soulwarming of my husband and children (2 grown, believing daughters, one special needs son), I literally have been cast off from every friendship. Some of that severing came from God Himself. I am no christian 'snob'; I would first listen, and when it became too much, expressed a desire to talk (if with another christian, for gossip is prevalent in our churches) of goodly things. I have done this with friendships of those unsaved, as well. It amazes and grieves me how this horrid sin so infects the human condition as to effecting so many into denying anything is wrong with their "concern"!!!! I did have a good reception from my LL, who respects my faith (which goes well for her and I pray for her often). But...even she ... quietly stopped chatting and saying more than a 'hi'. We have been her (and her husband's) tenants almost 20 years.

Anyway...gossip. It can be routed by much prayer. But we must receive God's deliverance may just mean that being 'separate' from the world, we just may end up truly being separated! ;o)

He is good. He is holy. His word remains forever.

Elle said...

I need to keep this in mind for sure. I often say things without even thinking about it. These days people don't really even know what is or is not "gossip". I hadn't even thought about it till reading your post.

Thanks for pointing it out!

The warm fireplace said...

It is so very true. To put someone down or gossip about them is being judgemental, we can never know what is truely in someones heart or the circumstances that lead to the instigation of gossip.It is so much better to be positive about someone.

Melissa said...

This was definitely a word in season for me. It brought me up short and helped me to {again}choose restraint and discretion over the venting of my negative emotions. Thank you for taking the time to write and minister here. Many times you have encouraged me to persevere in cheerful hope! God bless you!

Cathy said...

Our Pastor often warns our congregation about the sin of gossip. You are so right that it robs our peace.

Caroline said...

I struggle with this because I find I cling to "information" and so I want to share as much "information" with others as I can fit into a conversation. That is not always edifying, productive, or fruitful.

I try to remind myself to be a LIGHT in the darkness. If I find myself dimming a situation, it saddens my heart and I pray to refocus my strength to shine brighter.

Thank you for this post!