I don’t know about you, but I love to talk. I think it’s fabulous to be in a group of gals and talk it up. Sometimes I’ll come home super late from teaching a class or a girls dinner and my husband will ask “Was it oil or Jesus?” Apparently I really only ever talk about your physical health or your heart health?? He knows me so well.
But when I was just twenty-nine, I sat at a table with a group of woman who I considered to be my friends. As I listened, I heard one of these women share a bunch of facts about another woman. And these were absolute facts, but somewhere deep inside of me, a little voice began to ask me questions about the nature of the conversation.
Why do we do that?
Why is it so hard to avoid discussing other women when we get together?
I think Eleanor Roosevelt was on to something when she said:
“Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”
But there we sit. Starbucks in hand and somehow, we decide it’s okay to speak the name of a woman not present.
And we hide it so cleverly as “prayer concerns” or need-to-know information. Maybe we even cloak it in false compassion to let someone know that they’ve been gossiped about.
Gossip is a nasty beast, isn’t it? It always manages to beget more gossip, but can I tell you something? I bet if you think about it, you’ll find it’s true for you as well.
Never one time in my entire life has it been to my benefit or growth in any way shape or form for me to know what another woman said about me behind my back. It always hurts me. It always poisons my mind and heart. It always creates a grudge or a need for confrontation.
I’ve shared this before, but a few years ago I distinctly heard the Lord (not audible by in my mind) tell me that I could wait on Him in woman to woman situations. He told me that the majority of the time, the negativity towards me is perceived but not really about me at all. Usually, women are cold, distant, confusing, or rude when they have something hurting them. And he asked me to wait instead of confronting.
He knows me so well. (I guess creating me gave him an eye witness credibility on my character.)
You see, I have a quick tongue. It’s also sharp and accurate. I used to really pride myself in putting people into their place and calling their hands on the drama they were putting out.
But from that first whisper at the table with my friends so many years ago, I knew the days of me using that gift for myself were over. I was ruining it. He wanted my controlled, targeted, effective words to be used for so much more than that.
Someone came to me and told me that it was painfully obvious that my dear friend was overtly against me. In her words and actions. This person prompted me with some advice to confront my friend. Thankfully, my mind had an idea. That idea was to wait on the Lord.
Three days later, I saw my friend in person and it didn’t take more than a moment for her to burst into tears and confess to me that two very hard and unimaginable things had happened to her in the previous week. Things that took my breath and broke my heart for her.
As women, we need to share more ideas. We need to dream together. We need to pursue our purposes together. We need to do this for us. Because when we love someone, we want to inspire them, not tear their heart out. Because we are GREAT minds being waisted on small-minded chatter.
Every second we spend discussing another woman is a second we spend promoting woman on woman crime. Mom shaming. Body shaming. Career shaming.
And those seconds are ones where ideas are lost.
What could we accomplish if we focused on ideas? What if every get together was a mastermind?
What if you purposed to intentionally select who you talk with, who you give your seconds to so that you unleash your purpose to make this world better?
What if we all decided to be Great Minds?