I was enjoying my kids’ piano lessons when the notification came on my phone. My friend from childhood was asking me if I was ok and what illness I was dealing with. I was confused. I had no idea what she was talking about. I quickly found out when I told her I was fine and asked her why she asked such a strange question. A family member has posted on Facebook that I was seriously ill and that I needed prayer. I was furious! And so deeply hurt that this person would post such a thing on social media. I quickly explained the truth to my friend. Here is how I handled Gossip As A Prayer Request.
Have you ever heard a prayer request that just didn’t feel right? Or maybe you’ve shared a prayer request that you had ulterior motives for sharing. Gossip that is disguised as a prayer request is STILL GOSSIP. Just because it has been ‘spiritualized’ doesn’t mean it’s ok to share. Gossip is gossip plain and simple.
Before sharing a ‘prayer request’ or really anything about anyone, ask yourself some questions and answer them honestly.
Is this information true? If it is NOT, don’t share it! That really is a no-brainer, right? Lies will be revealed. Imagine what it will look like when your lie is made clear to people – that will be rather embarrassing and humiliating, don’t you think? If you are spreading lies about people, know that you are slandering them. The Bible is very, very clear on slander.
Is the information edifying? If what you are about to share does not build up the other person, then share it only with God. Don’t let any unwholesome talk come from your mouth (Ephesians 4:29)
What is the intention? If you are wanting to make the other person look bad – don’t say it. If you want to hurt this person – don’t say it. God knows the heart and He sees when we do and say things that are meant to hurt.
Will saying this hurt or heal my relationship with this person? If it brings destruction – and let’s face it – all gossip brings destruction – then don’t say it! If the relationship you have with this person is damaged because of the ‘prayer request’, then you shouldn’t have shared it. If the ‘request’ causes strife with others who know the person you are requesting prayer for, then I think we can safely say it is gossip and NOT a prayer request.
NEVER share a personal prayer request for someone else on Social Media. NEVER.
Honestly, this should be a ‘no-brainer’. I shouldn’t even have to say this…but some people just don’t get it. Sharing a personal prayer request about someone else on any social media platform is a serious lack of good judgement. Especially if it is untrue! If you want to completely destroy a relationship, then by all means go ahead because that is exactly what you will accomplish.
If you are gossiping, I urge you to repent now. Come clean with God. Apologize to the person you have offended. It is never ok to gossip.
When You Are The One Being Gossiped About
So, obviously, I am speaking from experience. I briefly mentioned the episode at the start of this post. Not only was it advertised on Facebook for many eyes to see…and comment on without an inkling about the truth of the matter. But the false ‘prayer request’ made by the one person (other than my husband) who should never, ever have done so.
The Bible is very clear about gossip and lying. We will all be held accountable for any unwholesome talk to comes from our mouths.
What do you do when someone gossips about you?
Cry out to God. It is incredibly painful when someone gossips about you. But the Healer will heal. The Restorer will restore. The Redeemer will redeem. He will use even this for His glory.
Forgive the person who is gossiping. Unforgiveness creates a hinderance between us and God. Holding on to a grudge is not worth building a wall between me and God. Yes, forgiveness can be very difficult especially when the person gossiping about you is someone who was very close. **Forgiveness does not mean the same as reconciliation! The other person has to repent and turn from their sin before true reconciliation can occur.
Remember we live in a fallen world. These kinds of things will happen. Jesus said we will have trials and tribulations. But we must take heart. He has overcome! He is on our side!
Give God consent to work on your behalf. He will deal with gossipers and slanders. He will. But stay out of His way. He will reveal the truth in His own timing.
Remain ‘quiet’. Throughout this whole ordeal, I have remained pretty silent with this person. This prevented me from saying anything I’d regret later on and it allowed God to do His work – mostly healing work in my life and my heart.
What to do when you hear someone gossiping.
DON’T participate in it!
If you feel led, tell the person that they are gossiping and you refuse to be a part of it. The verse above is very clear on the fact that it isn’t just the gossipers who deserve death, but those who approve – and if you sit back and listen, then you are approving.
Pray for the person who is gossiping. Pray that they will turn their own brokenness over to the Saviour and that they will come into full repentance of their sin.
Pray for the person being gossiped about. And let them know you support them.
If you hear someone else passing along the piece of gossip, make sure they know the truth.
A Glimpse Behind The Veil
While I journey through this storm, I need to understand that this is very much a spiritual attack on my life. You see, God is doing some amazing things through my life and my enemy hates it. So of course, he will use whatever method is at his disposal to try and stop me, including trusted family members. Our battle is in the spiritual realm. We need to remember this truth. It can be easy to forget in the midst of pain and grief. When these kinds of things occur, be confident in the fact that you are likely on the right track with God. He is working through you.
Never forget that. God is doing something AMAZING in your life if the enemy of your soul is seeking to destroy you.
Have your close friends pray with you and for you. I am so thankful for my precious friends who have been there for me, supporting me. THANK YOU!!
Take heart, God will fight for you. Remain steadfast in His arms. Do not be afraid. Do not be dismayed.
Leave these hurts and burdens at the cross. Allow Jesus to heal the brokenness.
Know that you aren’t the only one such things have happened to. You aren’t alone.
Know that it isn’t about you at all.
Let’s pray for each other about this. Let’s pray that God will heal our hearts and that He will protect us from gossip. And when we are tempted to gossip, we will turn away from it.
How The Piano Lesson Ended
I am especially grateful for where I was when I discovered this
prayer request gossip on Facebook. This was perfectly orchestrated by God. My kids’ piano teacher is a very Godly woman, full of wisdom and grace. She was in the middle of explaining something about piano and I just looked at her and asked her to pray for me while tears fell down my cheeks. She immediately sat beside me while I shared everything with her – and I mean everything – even the stuff from my teen years that I had just recently come to understand as not normal behaviour from this person. She listened. She offered wisdom. She believed me. She encouraged me with the Word of God. And then she prayed with me.
Oh, and just to clear the air – I have no health issues – serious or otherwise, except for low thyroid that has been under control for many years. I could very easily go to my family doctor who has been caring for my health for years and she would confirm that I am very healthy. I also see a pediatrician regularly for my daughter and she would also confirm that I do not have ‘serious health issues’ (it was actually this doctor’s sister that helped me to see that this person’s erratic and raging behaviour was not normal) – I am quite certain both of these doctors would have been able to discern if I had a ‘serious health issue’.
I have, however, felt the need to seek out counselling for this relationship to help me cope with the behaviours of this person. My counselor would most certainly address any and all ‘serious health issues’ I may have. Counselors are trained to identify problems and help a client address them. In fact, this last time I sought counsel, my counselor was quite impressed with my overall health and ability to deal with some particular behaviours. **Since this post was originally published, my counselor felt that I no longer required her help with this matter since I was handling it in a very healthy way 😀
How have you handled gossip?