Why do we gossip? How do we stop?

I had a very refreshing night last night (or rather this early morning at 3am). Refreshing and Exhausting.

Do you ever have those nights where the Lord keeps you up to say something to you?
It's so annoying in the moment. (Just being honest.)

So after I checked all the Twitter updates, Facebook updates and finished a crossword puzzle on my phone, I realized He wouldn't let me go to sleep. I love His perseverance for us during our times of disobedience.

I turned off the phone and listened to what He had to say.
I already knew what His message would be.
For crying out loud He's been saying it for months.
I just have been choosing to ignore Him. Very mature, huh?

This morning during my time in journaling I was reflecting on some of the things He shared with me. And I was asking that He would reveal some of the roots of it all. The affects of it I'm dealing with and will continue to deal with. But the roots I want gone. I want to be done with this.

He showed me several roots that need to come up.
There were five total but the first one He showed me to focus on: Gossip.

I begged Him to show me how to get rid of it. How to dig it up. And I got a three-fold plan.

I'm not sharing this with you because I have it together. Not close.
I'm sharing it with you because I'm hoping we can all help each other be done with this nasty thing, that we as women especially, won't let go of.

But it's the thing, I believe, that keeps us from having genuine relationships with one another. It's the reason why most women struggle with really trusting others. We are afraid not just what they might think of us, but what they might say about us.

Step #1: I need to stop exposing myself to things that numb me to the sin of gossip.

What does that mean?

Good-bye ENews. Goodbye E Channel at all really. Goodbye Gossip Magazines (I don't buy them anymore but I will check out all the covers at the grocery store). Goodbye Gossip Websites. Goodbye.

I realize that those things just numb me to gossip. I allow it to become an accepted form of communication and way of viewing others. It's not. So it's got to go.

Step #2: I need to stop initiating gossip with others.

I begged that He would stop me. That He would shut my lips. That I would become ill if I even begin to utter words I shouldn't. Laryngitis even.

And by others, sometimes that includes myself. Sometimes I just gossip in my thoughts.

Step #3: I need courage to stop others when they try to gossip with me.

This might be the hardest step of all. For a couple of reasons.

One, my flesh longs to "be in the know." I need to not want that kind of "knowledge," it doesn't benefit anything.

Second, how do you say that to a friend without hurting them? Calling each other out on sin is a hard thing to do.

So what about you?
Have you been hurt by gossip before?
Do you struggle with controlling your tongue?
How have you fought against gossip in your life?

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."
Ephesians 4:29-32