WHAT'S THE BUZZ? RESPONDING TO GOSSIP WITH PRAYER

A REPORT by the Social Issues Research Centre in Oxford, England, contained some interesting facts about gossip. It noted one recent study that found gossip accounts for 55 percent of men's conversations and 67 percent of women's. Researchers in a similar study premised that these percentages were not as interesting as the different ways the gossip was being used. For instance, men, it was suggested, use gossip for networking, to further their careers; while women more often use gossip to set moral boundaries and build relationships.

Though I've heard experts make a case for gossip's beneficial socializing effect on society, many people would agree that it can be less than productive, if not downright harmful. Talking about other people can often be about consciously or unconsciously diminishing them in order to make oneself feel better. The fact is, what people hear about another person—whether true or untrue—can cause them to regard that individual with less respect. In families, church communities, and through the news, gossip has the effect of creating divisiveness rather than establishing a foundation for progress.

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Testimony of Healing
'BY LABOR DAY, I WAS HIKING'
July 23, 2007
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