By Eva Kokinos
The objective of this session is to illustrate that Gossip is not a Christian way to treat others, and is harmful and hurtful.
PREPARING FOR THE SESSION
Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with
gladness; Come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He
is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people
and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures
to all generations.
(Gossip: Guess the Situation)
Split the young people into three groups. Give each group a copy of a "bit". Then, allow the group or groups to guess what the situation is according to the story given. Have each group present what they think the issue is. After each group presents, share the real story.
BIT: "Hey, guess what? You know that pool party at my friend’s
house I went to on Saturday? Well, I saw George’s girlfriend Cindy
there. I heard some guy was all over her like he was going to kiss her.
She didn't push him away or anything. I can’t believe it.”
BIT: “You will never believe what I saw the other day. You know
that guy Charles from our choir? Well, I was walking out of the store
and I saw him arm and arm with this guy. I’ve heard rumors about
his sexuality, but I wouldn’t have believed it unless I saw it with
my own eyes.”
BIT: “Do I have some news for you? You know that crazy-looking
guy Steve from school with all the body piercings? Well, I live in his
neighborhood and I was passing by his house the other day. I knew that
guy was trouble. I saw a police car at his house.”
(paraphrase in your own words)
The people in these stories all fell victim to gossip. Gossip is spread to anyone at anytime. Typically, gossip shows a part of someone's situation. It only shows a piece of the bigger problem. Gossip can be full of information about people that is private or sensitive. It can also be filled with untruths in order to make a story more interesting. I think it is safe to say we have all gossiped at one time or another. I am sure many of us have even fell victim to gossip.
(accept all answers and reflect back)
Split the young people into three groups of 4-6 people (if you have more you can give 2 groups the same quote). Give each group one of the quotes below to discuss. They must present back to the group a summary of the quote in a creative way.
Do not tell me, "I would be a slanderer only if I lied. I am committing no slander if I tell the truth." This is a grievous error. Speaking evil of others, even if the evil be true, is always a crime… You want to correct your brother? Weep, pray to God, warn him by speaking to his heart, advise and exhort him. This is how St. Paul acted. But backbiting and slander is so sweet, you say. Yes but NOT backbiting is sweeter still. The slanderer created deadly anxiety for himself; he is constantly besieged by suspicion and fear. He repents, but too late; he bites his tongue, but in vain; he trembles, for as his words spread they may cause him great danger and expose those who repeat them to enmities which easily could have been avoided.
Are you here to praise someone and raise him in my esteem? Then gladly
will I give ear and savor your conversation. But if you intend to speak
ill of someone, let me stop now; I cannot stand filth and stench. What
have I to gain by knowing that someone is evil? Would I not be losing
something instead? Talk to him yourself, and let us mind only our business.
Help, Lord, for the godly man ceases! For the faithful disappear
from among the sons of men. They speak idly everyone with his neighbor;
With flattering lips and a double heart they speak. May the Lord cut off
all flattering lips, And the tongue that speaks proud things, Who have
said, "With our tongue we will prevail; Our lip are our own; Who
is Lord over us?" For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing
of the needy, Now I will arise," says the Lord; "I will set
him in the safety for which he yearns." The words of the Lord are
pure words, Like silver tried in a furnace of earth, Purified seven times.
You shall keep them, O Lord, You shall preserve them from this generation
forever. The wicked prowl on every side, When vileness is exalted among
the sons of men.
Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another;
love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous, not returning evil for
evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that
you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. "He who
would love life And see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil,
And his lips from speaking deceit. Let him turn away from evil and do
good; Let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on
the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of
the Lord is against those who do evil." And who is he who will harm
you if you become followers of what is good? But even if you should suffer
for righteousness sake, you are blessed. "And do not be afraid of
their threats, nor be troubled." But sanctify the Lord God in your
hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you
a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a
good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile
your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. For it is better, if it is
the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
(accept all answers and reflect back)
(paraphrase in your own words)
There is a story of a man who sold pillows made of very rare, soft and expensive feathers. To take care of the pillows, he puts them in a bag to prevent them from ripping or getting dirty during his travels. One day he was in a hurry and he left without putting the pillows in a bag. As he was quickly walking along, the edge of one of his pillows got caught on a tree and ripped open. The feathers began to come out of the pillow. Frantically he tried to pick them up but the wind started blowing and scattered the feathers far away from his reach.
So it is with gossip… a little bit can get scattered quickly making it difficult to take back. We are going to have a few moments of silence and I want you to think about the times you may have caused gossip to spread and the times you have been a victim to gossip.
Give them a couple of minutes in silence and close by stating the following:
Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and
the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And
into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For
the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all