Tea. The freely flowing beverage that gets mouths yapping about anything and anyone. It used to be called gossip; that word that stung the tip of your tongue and caused you to lower the cadence of your voice.Well, apart from its makeover and new street savvy name (for now) nothing has really changed much about its power. Should I spill the tea?
I know what it feels like to be that person that everyone is talking about, and to be quite honest, I do not blame them. My mirage of failings, mistakes and misgivings awarded me the bonafide ‘The most gossiped name of the year award’. I had an entire shelf filled with the infamous accolade that I seldom wanted but found myself continuously being in the runnings for, year after year. I used to beat myself up for allowing my name to become entangled in other peoples tongues and I felt frustrated that my life had become a source of caricature and conversation.
Despite my personal convictions, I always wished that one of the church sisters whom I looked up to would have taken me to one side to address the rumours. Unfortunately, my expectations were far fetched and I was left to wonder through the lonely and soul crippling path I had found myself in. I made up my mind (after I had got my life back on track) that I was going to use my tongue to empower others rather than to pull them down.
You see, you may think that you are not gossiping and you are simply engaging in a new radical form of telephone ministry by spilling the ‘tea’ about sister so and so’s apparent mistakes, downfall or problems. You always lace your telephone ministration
gossip with the Lords prayer or some other spiritually enthused sentiment, so you couldn’t possibly be gossiping, right?
Whatever your take on gossip, putting others down and talking about them behind their back is not a godly characteristic. We are called to use our words to uplift, edify and inspire others, however the enemy is always on duty to inspire us to do the complete opposite.
Are you the person that blesses others with pleasant words that are ‘… like a honeycomb,sweetness to the soul and health to the bones’? (Proverbs 16:24) or are you the type of person that ‘…digs up evil, and it is on his lips like a burning fire’? (Proverbs 16:27). Are you using your words to build relationships or to sow strife? Proverbs 16:28 reminds us that ‘…a whisperer separates the best of friends’.
I have been guilty on all accounts of being the chief executive officer of the ‘Tea, tea and more tea society’. In fact, I also spearheaded the ‘go-sip gazette’ and a long list of now defunct roles where character assassination and spreading unsolicited rumours were part of the job description. Thankfully, with God’s never ending grace and rebuke I am a renewed person, however I still have to keep my mouth in constant check mode and remind myself how I should put my mouth to good use.
Check out these 4 tips below to help you to overcome your ‘tea addiction’.
Ain’t no tea party here!
Make a decision from the get-go that you will not entertain gossip. Period. Letting people know your stance early on stops the flow of unneccesary conversation. Remind yourself of what the bible says about unholy conversation. Remember, God delights in our liberation, but unwholesome words hold us in bondage to negativity and the judgement and disfavour of others. Be the person that helps to loose people from their problems rather than being the person that binds them to them
Block the usual suspects
We all know the people that seem to have an over generous supply of tea in their lives. They share the same characteristics: appear to be charming but have the bite as deadly as venom, smile in your face but cut their eyes through your back. Yep, that person. They always seem to know more about you than you know about yourself! They know what exactly went down at the family gathering which ended in a Jerry Springer style beat down, even though they were not present at the so-called gathering! If you are a regular contributor to their group chats across social media, kindly unsubscribe or block the named suspects. This is the time to use your voice to good effect and say ‘sayonara, boo!’
No time for waste
Those that love their fair cup of tea, (well, in their case a complete jug) cannot be converted over night. To be set free from the spirit of gossip, you need to be set apart to God,spend time with Him through meditation, prayer and reading your bible. Repent of the sin of gossip and ask for his forgiveness and where necessary, allow the power of the Holy Spirit to heal you from the inside out. Many times those that gossip have deeply rooted insecurities that they have not dealt with. Rather than seeking divine help for their own downfalls they mask their pain by uncovering the nakedness of others. No matter how much tea you give them they will still be thirsty.
Throw on some shades
Rather than putting yourself forward for the unofficial roles as ‘character dissector’, ‘Image tarnisher’ and ‘Destiny destroyer‘ take up the the posts which are far more rewarding and beneficial to helping other people get their lives right. Why not be the person that encourages, speaks to the person openly about their issues and helps them prayerfully come to a solution?
If you have any other tips for tea addicts, please kindly share below in the comments section.