I had a wonderful volunteer come in to talk to me. She was devastated and in tears. At her Bible study, one of the leaders had given her a dirty look when she walked in. I couldn’t believe it! How dare that leader give her a dirty look! I spent about an hour talking with this gal, sharing how I didn’t really like her leader either, and she isn’t kind to people, why do they even have her as a leader, EVERYBODY thinks she should just stop, and she doesn’t really teach that well anyway…
That is the way we SHOULDN’T respond as leaders (which we all are). Our job as a leader is to remember we influence at all times. Regardless of how I feel about someone, my job is to point people to the Bible, then straight back to their leader. I would NOT talk about the person…well, except to say, “Did you ever think, it wasn’t about you? That maybe that leader was having a horrible morning and/or hearing some miserable news from the people she was standing with?”
As broken humans we are very self-involved. We think everything is about us. It isn’t. Once this gal realized I would not take part in her pity, finger-pointing, gossip fest, she stopped to really listen to what I was saying. Now, please know that she didn’t intend it to be a pity, finger-pointing gossip fest. She truly was coming in with a hurt heart. I was so thankful she had come to me so I could help her with the situation.
After we talked a bit she was able to realize that her own insecurities were coming out and she needed to confront the situation right away so she didn’t continue to harbor ill feelings towards the leader. AND she was given a good example of how not to gossip.
She ended up talking to the leader and finding out that it had been an absolutely horrible morning for her and this leader didn’t realize how much it showed. She didn’t even remember seeing my volunteer and apologized.
Have you ever done that? Been so consumed with a thought you don’t recognize some of the faces as you walk or talk. I did that and thankfully the gal who I had unknowingly ignored brought it straight to my attention. I had to apologize as I remember the 15 things I was thinking as I passed the area she said she was in when she tried to get my attention, but I didn’t remember hearing her.
What is something that has happened in your life that you felt hurt by? Have you taken it to the source? Not condemning but questioning if it was intentional. Regardless you will learn something.
How do you deter gossip? How do you redirect people to remember to see what the Bible says about the situation they are in, or to go straight to the person they have a problem with?
What I learned today…We all need to be reminded, whining, gossiping and commiserating will get us nowhere. Go to the source. Period. It saves a LOT of time, emotions and energy.