Anyone who works with, has, or has even BEEN a child (in other words, EVERYONE!) knows about tattling. I think that is the one thing in my classroom that gets on my nerves the most! At least once a day, one of my third graders come to me to tell me about someone else's business. Sounds petty, I know, but it is a huge problem! Each time this happens, it distracts us from learning (and causes their teacher to have a hissy fit!)
Tattling is such a problem, that I am ALWAYS looking for ways to stop it in my classroom! One of my newest addictions in Pinterest and I've come across some really cute ideas to try in my room!Next year, I wil have a "tattling turtle", a tattling flow chart for "When to Tattle", and spend lots of time talking about what is important to tell and what isn't.
But tattling isn't just a child problem. As adults, we are prone to "tattle" on others. How? Through gossip, being nosy, making assumptions, and sharing things with others that was never our place to share. Each time we stick our nose in someone else's business or share private information about someone else, we are tattling. It hurts just as much to adults as it does to children.
Why are other people's drama so attractive to us? Does their problems make us feel better about our own? Are we so insecure about who we are that in order to feel good about ourselves, we have to drag others down?
Many times I think that Christians are the worst about tattling. We "hide" the gossip by saying that we are just "concerned" about them and would like to pray for them. Hogwash..... we are just nosy. And when we do gain new knowledge, why do we feel the need to share that with others? Or assume we know who someone is talking about and then "tattle" back to that person? How in the world is THAT setting an example of Christ's love?
I'm guilty of tattling as well. I love to hear gossip about others. I love to be nosy and ask questions when it is not my "beez wax". I've also been guilty of making assumptions about other people, and repeating things that I should have never known. I'm sure my actions have hurt others. I will have to ask forgiveness for that, try to make ammends, and accept the fact that people may have lost their ability to trust me or that I have permanently lost friends.
The Bible says plenty about how we should live our lives.
I Thessalonians 4:11-12 (NIV) commands us to "Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody."
Wow.... so when I DON'T mind my own business I am sinning. That's not a good thought.... I want to think that my actions aren't wrong, but they are. I want to think that it is harmless gossip, but it's not. I hate to think that something I might have done have hurt someone else. Or worse, caused someone else to stumble in their relationship with God. The worst? if my actions have caused someone to reject Christ.
So, now I know that it is wrong. I know that it can hurt others. How do I stop it? By guarding my mind and my tongue. I can only do that through God's help...
Psalm 141:3-5 (NIV) "Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips. Let not my heart be drawn to what is evil, to take part in wicked deeds with men who are evildoers; let me not eat of their delicacies. Let a righteous man strike me- it is a kindness; let him rebuke me- it is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it."
Lord, Help me to guard my ears and my mouth. Help me to stay away from gossip. Keep me from spreading it to others and causing pain with my words. Use my mouth as a way to glorify You and bring others to You. Amen.