Scripture Focus: Make it your aim to live a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to earn your own living . . . in this way you will win the respect of those who are not believers . . . I Thessalonians 4:11-12
One thing Janet loved about her new church was the fact that she was not alone. There were at least six other young couples attending; Janet had other young wives that she could turn to for advice, counsel, and support. What a blessing!
Janet got to know these young women; she was quickly incorporated into their circle of friendship. The women got together at each other’s homes, shared recipes, helped each other by babysitting when needed, and more. Her new network was close-knit and available to her at a moment’s notice. All she had to do was call!
What Janet wasn’t prepared for was this: Whenever these young wives gathered, the topic of conversation quickly became their husbands --- their faults and failings. It seemed like no one ever spoke up to praise her husband or to express gratitude for the kind of person he was. Instead, there was an atmosphere that Janet later described as poisonous or toxic in the conversations these women shared about their marriages.
It took several months for Janet to realize that for her own sake, she needed to find some new friends. It was hard to break away from a group that had accepted her, offered her free babysitting, and had been the source of much helpful advice. Yet Janet, for the sake of her own soul, reached the place where she just couldn’t listen to the group’s gossip and criticism on such a constant basis. She needed to get away.
“I couldn’t take it any more,” Janet told us later. “I really valued the friendships, but I was really tired of so much gossip about everyone else’s private business.”
For your personal reflection:
Prayer: Lord, You know that I can get caught up in gossip just as quickly as anyone else. Sometimes I don’t even realize that it’s happening! Help me to successfully mind my own business. Also, help me to stay away from people who consistently seem to be minding everyone else’s business! That kind of conversation threatens my soul.