“The second is this, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” Mark 12:31
With Jocelyn in fifth grade now, I’ve prepared myself all year for the drama that girls in that age group can generate. To my surprise, it didn’t begin until yesterday, and it wasn’t girl drama. It was boy drama.
But, girls being girls, they talked about it and obsessed over it ad infinitum. They talked amongst themselves all day at school, and even brought it to the teacher’s attention. Jocelyn talked to me the minute she got in the door. She even wanted to tell my husband and her brothers because she felt so badly for the boy who was impacted by the situation.
That’s when I had to step in and help her clarify her intentions.
When something happens that affects us deeply, it’s human nature to want to talk about it. It helps us process and clarify things. It also helps us identify our feelings and put them in their proper place.
But when we take it to the extreme where we are either wallowing in our own misery, or crossing the line into gossiping about others, it’s time to stop and examine our motive.
God’s second command is to love our neighbor as our self. If us continuing to talk about it is going to benefit the person, that’s great. But if it’s ultimately going to hurt them because we’re spreading their private business further than it should go, that’s a different story.
It remains to be seen if Jocelyn truly heard me and absorbed the message. I know she ultimately wants to help and protect this boy. I just hope the pull of the drama doesn’t reel her back in again so she ends up causing more harm than good.
Questions for Reflection:
* When I’m sharing about something dramatic, do I recognize and respect the line between processing and gossiping?
* When my kids are in a similar situation, do I help them recognize and respect that line?