What to Do When Rumors Run Wild
If you’ve spent even five minutes in the last 24 hours wondering (= mildly obsessing over) what a particular someone thought about what you said or did or wrote – this is for you.
But what comes out of our mouths starts in our heads, which is why Paul also says we should take every thought captive.
So, two questions I’m asking myself:
1) What rumors am I spreading in my head?
Don’t believe everything you think.
When I find myself getting critical of others, I know it has more to do with what lies I’ve told myself, about me.
Because we talk ugly about others when we feel ugly about us. We undermine others when we’re insecure or jealous or we’ve forgotten that God is holding us in the palm of His hand.
You can’t control the stories other people tell. You can control the stories you tell yourself.
Tell yourself the true stories God tells about you. Like, how He delights in you, loves you, calms your fears, and sings over your life. Tell yourself that you can hide in the shadow of His wings and He’ll fulfill His purposes for you.
When I start rumor-mongering to me-myself-and-I inside my own head, I’m trying to get into the habit of responding with:
Really? Is that *really* true about you? Or are you making that up now?
2) Which rumors are real?
What other people think of you is none of your business.
Their private thoughts about you are just that: private. Don’t waste time and emotional energy fretting. They may think even less of you than you imagine, in which case it’s best not to know. They may not – they probably are not – thinking about you at all. They probably, really, don’t have time.
People’s abrupt responses or lack of interest is, mostly, because they’re swathed in stress of their own. There’s just not a lot of emotional capacity going around these days. It’s hard for people to stop and show you that they care.
But revolutions always start with a small bunch of crazies like us, right?
People who think it’s possible to break the cycle of disinterest that will have us really smiling into each other’s eyes again. I think it’s worth a shot.
So, remind yourself that the people you’re trying to impress aren’t watching anyway. Make right with people you know you’ve wronged. Then speak truth, live in the light, trust God to protect your reputation. And smile.
And where there really have been rumors and you’ve got painful history with people, ask Jesus to work His wonders in dead-end relationships.
Pray for those who’ve hurt you – which hurts like hell at first.
But it’s a bit like hiking with blisters. You put your boots on and you think you’ll never move again. You hobble for a mile or two. Then you walk those blisters in and it gets easier and you somehow absorb the pain and start noticing the beauty again and you realize –
The rumors aren’t running anymore, but you are.
Dalene is a full-time mom, writer and speaker living in South Africa. She is (very happily) wife to Murray (an optometrist) and mom to Cameron and Scott. Dalene enjoys finding wonder and worship in the mundane and the magnificent. She writes because she is passionate about using her time and her potential to be all God created her to be, for the fame of His name in this generation and the next. And she would really like for us – ordinary people serving an extraordinary God – to change the world, for His glory.