The Bible talks a lot about gossip! It’s not just a “little sin” as some of us like to rationalize. It says, “The Lord hates a forward (or perverted) mouth” (Proverbs 8:13) . . and He commands us, “You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people.” (Lev. 19:16). God also says, “They go from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention (I Timothy 5:13), and “Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will destroy” – Psalm 101:5 .
A statement doesn’t have to be a lie to make it gossip. You may think, “well, it’s the truth,” so I can tell anyone about it. NOT SO!! Telling the truth with the wrong motive can be even more destructive than telling a lie. Sharing anything about some one, when the act of sharing it is not part of the solution to that person’s problem is pure gossip. Leviticus 19:16 says – Do not go about spreading slander among your people. Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life.
Proverbs 11:13 – A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.
Romans 1:29 – They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips.
I Timothy 5:13 – Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to.
Matthew 7:1 – Do not judge, or you will be judged.
Proverbs 18:18 – The words of a gossip are like choice morsels, they go down to a man’s inmost parts.
Spreading gossip not only hurts others but it destroys our credibility. Who is going to trust us with anything when they think we’ll tell everyone else? Gossip is also a way we judge others, which isn’t our job. God is in charge of judging people, not us. Gossip really only ends up creating greed, hate, envy and murder.
SO WHAT DO YOU DO ABOUT GOSSIP?
First, if you catch yourself falling into gossip – STOP!! If you don’t pass on the gossip there is no where for it to go. When you are faced with a statement that may be gossip, check out the facts. Let the gossip end with you and remember the Golden Rule: “if you don’t want people to gossip about you, then don’t participate in gossip.”
Proverbs 26:20 – Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down.
Ephesians 4:29 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.
Psalm 34:13 Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit.
What we must realize is, gossip is more than a little bad habit. Gossip is wicked and sinful – a seething disease of corruption from the mouth. Gossips use their mouth as a weapon – a weapon which is always aimed at people to fulfill Satan’s desires to steal, kill and destroy. Proverbs 11:9 – With his mouth the godless destroys his neighbor. Gossip is an enemy to God and everything called holy – like cancer, it spreads a deadly infection to the body of Christ. Not only did Paul place gossip in the same league with murderers and sexual deviates, but Jesus warned that those who would offend His little ones, it would be better for them to be bound with a millstone and drowned in the sea.
Gossip is one of the most dangerous sins because it is so subtle and ambiguous – many are unable to recognize it. Be on alert against gossip whenever you hear of “secret information being circulated, or if you hear anyone’s name used in a conversation. Gossip exists whenever people talk about others in a less than a favorable way. The root of gossip is negativity, judgmentalism, slander, etc. Avoid associating with people who gossip. Remember the old saying, “If you can’t say something good about others, don’t say anything at all.”
Gossip and slander are satan’s tools. He knows that if he can get us to divide and fight each other, we’ll be far too busy to unite and fight him!! We need to stop and think before we speak, and purpose in our hearts to never receive or repeat gossip again.
A Christian’s tongue should never be used for anything but good. Psalm 39:1 – I will guard my ways, lest I sin with my tongue; I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle, …
James gave a warning of the evil poison of the tongue. He described some who use their tongue to praise and bless God, then turn around and use their tongue to speak evil of one another.
“With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. We cannot use our tongue to curse and bad-mouth our brethren then continue “business as usual” – James 3:9-10 .
Furthermore, God promises a long, blessed life to those who keep their tongue from evil. “Who is the man who desires long life, and loves many days, that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit” – Psalm 34:12-13.
REFRAIN FROM GOSSIP – KNOW THAT GOSSIP IS A SIN IN THE SIGHT OF GOD. IF YOU HAVE EVER GOSSIPED REPENT OF IT AND NEVER DO IT AGAIN.
Proverbs 21:23 – Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles.
SO, WHAT DO YOU DO WITH GOSSIP? ADMIT IT – THEN QUIT IT!!
Rev. K. Irma Green, retired pastor; Lecturer/Bible Teacher, Spiritual Life Coach – She can be reached at: [email protected].