I am a Christian mother of young children who has no choice but to work. But my job is getting me down emotionally and spiritually. The women just gossip constantly, and my spirit is grieved. I think it is changing who I am, and I don’t know what to do about it. I cannot afford to leave this job. Can you help? ~ Dianne
Dear Dianne, I sympathize with you, honey. As Christians we cannot live in a bubble, even though that would be more pleasant. We are called to be examples of a Christ-like life. And yes, it is sometimes very difficult.
Ephesians 4:29-32 tells us how we are to act as Christians.
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.[emphasis mine]
Let’s take an example to make it more visual for you. Sally starts telling the women what she has heard about Mary, and all of the women are atwitter as they imagine the situation to be even more salacious than it actually is. This is your opportunity, Dianne. What can you do?
– You can leave the room. If anyone asks you (later) why you left, you can say, “The conversation was getting too low.”
– You can voice your opinion about what Sally is spreading: “Sally, would you be talking this way about Mary if she was in the room?”
– You can speak up as you leave the room. “I’m sorry. I don’t listen to gossip.”
Now all of these choices will be very difficult for you the first few times you choose them. And you should be prepared to hear whispering about yourself. But once you have decided to be an uncommon woman, The Holy Spirit will give you the words to say and will strengthen you.
There’s a book I want to recommend to you, Dianne. It will inspire you and instruct you in how to be an uncommon Christian woman. Susie Larson, a “woman’s writer” has written The Uncommon Woman: Making an Ordinary Life Extraordinary. I’ve tried to make it as easy as possible for you to hear from a woman who has actually walked the same road you’re walking now.
I pray you will have the courage to choose to be a Christ-like, uncommon woman, Dianne. When you feel yourself getting down, just picture your feet in the hands of Jesus Christ as He washes your feet. How could you feel anything but humble with that visual in your mind?
Bless you, Dianne!
(c) 2009 April Lorier