Are you a gossip? Did you take the Gossip Quiz to find yourself surprised at the answer? We live in a social society where we share in each other’s lives. We are also curious people, always desiring to be “in the know.”
Yet, gossip is not helpful. Gossip actually serves to break the trust of those the people around you. The Bible has a lot of important statements regarding gossip.
What’s Wrong with Gossip?
Everyone likes a good story, right? Well, not necessarily. What about the person the story is about? Does that person like the story? Probably not. Spreading rumors only hurts others and 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 really isn’t our job. God is in charge of judging people, not us. Gossip really only ends up creating greed, hate, envy, murder.
Gossip is also a sign that we are not really active in our faith and in our lives. If you think about it, the busier we are, the less time we have to gossip. We no longer have the time to get wrapped up in someone else’s life. Gossip is bred out of boredom. It may start as a simple conversation about people, and then escalates quickly. The Bible clearly tells us to do more than discuss other people’s lives.
Leviticus 19:16 – “Do not go about spreading slander among your people. Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life. I am the Lord.” (NIV)
Proverbs 11:13 – “A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.” (NIV)
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.” (NIV)
1 Timothy 5:13 – “Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to.” (NIV)
Matthew 7:1 – “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” (NIV)
Proverbs 18:8 – “The words of gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts.” (NIV)
So What Do I Do About Gossip?
First, if you catch yourself falling into gossip – stop. If you don’t passon the gossip there is nowhere for it to go. This includes gossip magazines and television. While it may not seem as “sinful” to read those magazines, you are contributing to gossip.
Also, when you are faced with a statement that may or may not be gossip, check out the facts. For instance, if you hear someone has an eating disorder, go to the person. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to the person yourself, and the rumor is something serious, you may want to go to a parent, pastor, or youth leader. Getting someone to help in a serious situation is not gossip as long as the information stays with you and the person you go to for help.
If you want to avoid gossip, focus on creating helpful and encouraging statements. Let the gossip and 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.” (NIV)
Deuteronomy 13:14 – “Then you must inquire, probe and investigate it thoroughly.” (NIV)
Matthew 7:12 – “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (NIV)
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.” (NIV)