An Angry Countenance Drives Away Gossip
Recently, an older man came to me with a quandary. It seems he was frustrated that people, from time to time, came to him with gripes about other people in the church. He did not understand why they would come to him. He did not want to talk about these things, and did not want these things to be brought to him.
But they were. And, from the sound of it, more than a little regularly.
Why is it that gossips always seem to go to the same person? How do they know who to go to and who to leave alone? Is there some kind of vibration that a person gives off when they are willing listeners to this sort of thing?
The answer is, “Yes! Absolutely!” The person who listens to gossip demonstrates their willingness by… listening. It really is that simple. Now, that’s not to say that the listener never protests, or protests that they really don’t want to hear it or discuss it. In fact, those who listen to gossip are very likely to say a thing like that. After all, they need something to salve their conscience.
What they don’t do is the one thing necessary to drive away the gossip. And that one necessary thing is to give one good old-fashioned dirty look.
The north wind driveth away rain: so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue. Proverbs 25:23
When a gossip approaches you with some “news” about a friend, it should sound something like this… “What are you trying to say? Are you talking about my friend? If you have a problem with my friend, then you have a problem with me. In fact, let’s go talk to him about it right now.”
And suddenly, almost surreally, the gossips avoid you.
— From Dave Mallinak back in September 10, 2007. Dave Mallinak pastors the Berean Baptist Church of Ogden, Utah.