By Empowering Everyday Women Editors
“Girl, let me tell you...” Usually, nothing good follows that phrase. Instead, “juicy” secrets and details are divulged that must be whispered rather than shouted. In hushed tones, the person on the receiving end of the “dish” learns all kinds of salacious details they must vow never to repeat.
But as empowered Christian women, should we be drawn to gossip?
A University of California, Berkeley study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in January 2012 suggests gossip makes the gossiper feel better. Based on four different experiments and findings from hundreds of volunteers, the study’s co-author and social psychologist, Robb Willer said, "Spreading information about the person whom they had seen behave badly tended to make people feel better, quieting the frustration that drove their gossip.”
But the Bible warns against any enjoyment of the calamity or misfortune of others, even those considered our “enemies.” Proverbs 24:17 tells us, “Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice.”
If we’re honest, though, we have all ignored that biblical advice at one point by either listening to or “spilling the tea.”
Millions love gossip.
Negative news gets far more attention than positive, uplifting, and inspirational news, which is a pretty sad testament to the state of our society. Stories about folks heading to divorce court, getting caught in an affair, or having money woes, is considered juicy gossip. That’s why rag-tag publications and salacious gossip sites thrive.
Even on television, programming that gives viewers an inside look at the drama, foolishness, and mess in the lives of others pulls in higher ratings. Last week, BET’s President, Debra Lee, responded to critics of the network’s paltry number of positive shows. At a recent screening of the documentary, “Second Coming? Will Black America Decide the 2012 Election,” she told a reporter “Over the 28 years I’ve been at BET, we’ve tried different shows, series and nightly news, and it’s always a matter of what are people going to show up to watch.”
For her, it boils down to giving people what they way. “Our audience always says they want this kind of programming,” meaning uplifting, informative, and empowering, “but they don’t show up,” said Lee.
It's time for a turning point when we draw more pleasure and enjoyment from negativity and drama than positivity and inspiration/
It looks like it's time to have our hearts and minds washed with the water of the word so we will obey Philippians 4:8: Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.
Psst... how do you feel about gossip? Are you drawn to it or turned off by it?