It’s going to happen.
Sooner or later people are going to be talking and the subject matter will turn to you. Maybe what they’re saying is true. Maybe it isn’t. Either way, it is no fun to be caught in the rumor mill. So how should you respond the next time rumors are being spread about you?
Here are four wise strategies for dealing with rumors.
Speak kind words in return.
That girl that’s saying mean things about you? That boy who is making things up about your feelings toward him? I know there’s a part of you that would really like to tell them off, but the Bible encourages a different (much more difficult) approach.
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger (Prov. 15:1).
Harsh words just stir the pot, but kind words have a tempering effect. I know that if someone is spreading rumors about you, the last thing you probably want to do is to speak kindly to them. But ask yourself this: Do I want a) revenge (which will likely just lead to more rumors?) or do I want b) the rumors to stop? In case you’re wondering, the right answer is b!
Stop defending yourself.
So you hear that someone is talking about you. What they are saying isn’t true. You go to everyone you know and try to tell your side of the story. Here’s the problem with that approach—it’s like pouring gasoline on a fire. The more you talk about the issue, the bigger it will become. A wise girl learns that she does not have to defend herself (no matter how ugly or untrue the rumors get).
For their Redeemer is strong; he will plead their case against you (Prov. 23:11).
My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart (Ps. 7:10).
God is your protector. It is not your job to protect yourself.
This is really hard to remember when rumors make you feel vulnerable and attacked. But God can handle it. I promise.
Albert Einstein once told a magazine reporter his formula for success.
“If a is success in life, I should say the formula is a equals x plus y plus z, x being work and y being play.”
“And what is z?” asked the reporter.
Einstein answered, “That is keeping your mouth shut.”
Maybe Einstein had read Proverbs 10:19:
When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.
Let me give you the edavis paraphrase.
Talk a lot, and you’ll find yourself find in trouble. Be smart, girl! Zip those lips.
So much gossip is born out of our habit as girls to want to be talking ALL THE TIME. Just because we think it doesn’t mean we have to say it. Ask God to teach you when to keep your mouth shut.
Consider it a blessing.
Matthew 5:11 says, “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.”
Are people talking about you because you’re a Christian? Are they spreading rumors because you choose to live differently than everyone else?
God says that’s good.
Imagine the rumors that were spread about Jesus when He walked the earth. Think about the false things people still say about God to this day. If people are criticizing you because of your faith, you are in good company. Don’t be deterred just because people are talking about you. Jesus says that’s a blessing.
I’m afraid the rumor mill will keep churning. People will always need something to talk about. But God teaches us to respond with kind words, quiet, and hope in God’s ability to defend us. Now that’s a rumor worth spreading!