I used to wonder why some people referred to gossip as “dish.” Now I think it’s probably because gossip is the act of serving up what so many find delicious: the inside scoop on someone else.

What they said.

What they did.

How they look.

Their incompetence; or if they really are competent, their horrifying superiority.

The list goes on and on, doesn’t it? And we belly up to that big, steaming dish like we haven’t eaten for days.

Why am I talking about this, you ask? Because I was witness to it in the elevator yesterday.

Two women ignored me, and the obviously uncomfortable, lone male in the corner, and proceeded to gut, filet and consume their subject during our 30-floor ascent. It seemed that her clothing, in particular, was the tastiest portion of the meal.

“Poor, poor girl,” I thought to myself, as I listened, “I wonder if she has any idea.”

Then, as if on cue, the doors of the elevator opened to their floor, and the two women watched the door part to reveal the one who was obviously the subject of their voracious meal.

They stopped talking, suddenly and awkwardly, and danced around her, as they tried to exit and she tried to enter. One of them realized she’d left something in her car and hurriedly jumped back in, so she had to ride on up with us before she could go back down. Turning to the one whom she had just trashed, she said, “That’s a GREAT dress!”

I turned and looked at the guy next to me. Incredulous, he looked at that two-faced woman as if she actually did have two faces.

The doors opened to my floor and I exited to start my day. As distasteful as I found that whole conversation, I could instantly bring to mind the many, many times I’ve pushed back from that same dish, belly full and, with a flourish of a napkin across my face, completely satisfied.

Sickening, but true.

The thing is, if you’re honest, you’ve enjoyed some of it, too.

Why do we do this? Does it serve any purpose at all, other than making us feel bigger…better about ourselves? I’m not sure we’d feel all that much better if we allowed ourselves to consider that the same folks dishing with us, are likely making a meal out of us behind our backs.

Really, it’s best to just concentrate on the parts of the meal that are good for everyone. Uplifting. Encouraging. Edifying. Then, agree to avoid that other dish altogether. It’s may look like something you’ll enjoy while you’re eating it, but it will turn on you later. Those two women will find that out eventually.

Oh…for the record, that young woman’s dress was darling.

And I told her so on the way out.


“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29 ESV

“Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.” Psalm 34:13 ESV

“To speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.” Titus 3:2 ESV

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8 NLT

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV