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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Am I Tattling?

It has come to my attention that I am a whiner. Some of you might not find this too surprising. How has this fact missed my attention until now you might be wondering? I've always known it. God has just brought it to my attention, again.

I'm doing a book study with friends, and one of the first questions we had to answer was "What is God telling you to do? Are you doubting Him in it? If so, why?"

God is always talking to me about something. Sometimes it stays the same; sometimes it gets tweaked a little. And then there are times where it's totally new to me.

Right now, it's my prayer life. I am guilty of whining and tattling to God.

Nothing annoys me more than whiny kids who tattle to me. I don't mind being informed about something if there is a real need, but I don't just want to hear complaints. Negativity can be extremely draining. If my kids have something they need me to do, I would rather they just ask for it. I don't need to know a long play by play story of exactly what this friend or that friend did to them. I want to know what they did and what they're going to do about it.

They must use an "I" statement. "I got my feelings hurt. I'm going to ask them to stop. I'm going to go talk to them about it." If there is nothing for me to do in the situation, and it's just been brought to my attention so they can feel better because they told someone what the other person did to them, it's wrong. Tattling is gossip. If this problem they're sharing has nothing to do with me, I'm not the one they need to be talking to.

tattling is gossip

It's also not our place to judge others and carry out a vengeance for the wrongs that others have committed against us. We need to trust God for His justice. It is not our job to even the score.

The Message Bible says in Romans 12:19, "Don't hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you've got it in you, get along with everybody. Don't insist on getting even; that's not for you to do. "I'll do the judging," says God. "I'll take care of it." (This is a perfect verse to have your child memorize.)

I am that child. I whine to God about things, and sadly I have become the queen tattler. "But God, why did they have to do that? They hurt me! It's not fair! Don't they realize what they're doing? When are they going to change?" This is much different from using "I" statements. "I'm feeling hurt, God. I'm upset. I need help. "

Tattling is very self-focused. It's not about helping them; it's about getting some kind of pleasure for you. When you just want someone to be punished for what they did to you, it's wrong. I've tried to teach my kids that tattling is the same thing as gossip. There is no reason for them to be sharing such information with me. When you have a problem with somebody, you must go to that person, not another individual. That is gossip.

"Don't spread gossip and rumors. Don't just stand by when your neighbor's life is in danger. I am God." Leviticus 19:16.

Don't even listen to it. Proverbs 18:8 says, "Listening to gossip is like eating cheap candy; do you really want junk like that in your belly?"

"For their tongues shoot lies like poisoned arrows.
They speak friendly words to their neighbors
While scheming in their heart to kill them.
Should I not punish them for this?” says the Lord."
Jeremiah 9:8-9

I have been guilty of gossiping to God. Instead of getting on my knees before Him, asking and pleading with Him for help for my friends, I've whined and told stories trying to put others in a bad light. I haven't had their best interest at heart. I've just told God about it to make myself feel better.

I always felt that as long as I wasn't tattling (gossiping) to another person, it was okay. But God has been revealing to me the power of my mind. Even gossiping to God about it is wrong. I need to be crying out to God for help for them. Not tattling on them to God. Because, duh, He already knows. He doesn't need me to whine and complain about it.

"A good (wo)man brings good things out of the good stored up in (her) heart, and an evil (wo)man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in (her) heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of." Luke 6:45

My heart desperately cries out for good. I am always in a battle with my mind and my mouth. I must not give in to what comes so naturally. I must be merciful.

Today in my Bible reading, I'm in the book of James, chapter 2. The Message says in verse 13, "For if you refuse to act kindly, you can hardly expect to be treated kindly. Kind mercy wins over harsh judgment every time."

So in response to my question at the very beginning, God is telling me to simply ask. I must stop whining and tattling to Him about every little thing. I need to question my thoughts and motives and make sure that I have the best interest of others at heart.

With my children, I am always happy to help them out when they simply ask. I'm going to try the same approach with God.

Am I simply asking God for help? Or am I tattling?

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