Does anyone use the term “Tea” anymore? Forgive me, I’m a little out of touch these days…
We all get frustrated with a loved one from time to time. And every once in a while it can get to the point where we feel the need to vent about them to a trusted confidant.
It might seem that blowing off some steam in conversation with an outsider might help us from “Getting All Steamed Up,” and “Pouring Out” on the person in question, but talking about people behind their back not only resolves nothing, but it’s just not the right thing to do.
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths,” says Ephesians 4:29, “but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” When we’re mad at someone, it’s easy to say bad things about them, but this is not the way the Lord wants us to act.
“Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” (James 1:19) If someone makes us angry, the only person that can actually do something about it is the person in question. So to get any headway in conflict resolution, we need to take it up with whoever upset us.
It’s important, too, to take our time and not speak ill of them to their face. Take a breath, calmly express your concern, and listen to their side of the story. It’s not an easy thing to do, but this way we can continue to be in harmony with our brothers and sisters in Christ and continue a pleasant fellowship.
But we don’t even necessarily have to be angry with someone to “Spill Tea” about them. Encouraging a friend or family member’s angry words, or even just participating in idle gossip can be just as harmful as spreading bad words.
I’ll be the first to admit I’ve been guilty of “Sipping” before. After all, it’s easy to get caught up in someone else’s drama, especially when things get a little hectic in our own lives. It almost becomes a means of escape.
In a culture of gossip rags and social media, gossip is almost inescapable. But as hard as it is to avoid, it doesn’t have to be hard to get out of.
Psalm 101:5 says, “Whoever slanders his neighbor secretly I will destroy. Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart I will not endure.” God simply does not want us to talk badly about other people, or even about how we think their lives are going. We do not see their lives or their hearts the way He does, and He doesn’t even want us to try, let alone bad mouth them behind their back.
Gossip doesn’t do anything but waste time we could be spending trying to better ourselves, or perhaps even trying to help the person being gossiped about.
As it says in 1 Peter 4:8: “Keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” If you find yourself caught up in a “Tea Party,” try finding something nice to say about the person being “Steeped,” or redirect the conversation to something else entirely. But truthfully, the people “Spilling” should know it’s a waste of tasty leaf water and their cup could be sweetened with some compassion and understanding.
Have you ever found yourself being bombarded by angry words about someone else? Or maybe you’ve been caught up in gossip at school or at work? How have you dealt with it in the past? How can you better handle it in the future?