“The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts.” (Proverbs 18:8 NIV)
Gossip is sinful pleasure. The juicy morsels of someone else’s woe secretly make us feel better. Especially if the gossip is about someone we don’t like. The friend who betrayed your trust, what’s the harm in gossiping about them, right? The boss who makes work difficult, gossiping about him is easy. How about the ex-spouse, boyfriend or partner? Hearing gossip about someone who hurt you deeply secretly brings pleasure. We want them to suffer for the suffering they caused us. We enjoy listening to gossip because it takes our attention away from our own problems. Gossip is a sinful pleasure we don’t think is harmful.
Gossip is a sinful pleasure we don’t think is harmful.
Gossip is harmful. Not only does gossip hurt the person who is it’s subject, listening to it is harmful to us. Gossip diverts us from the truth.
Gossip’s definition: casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true. Gossip is lying. Gossip is making up something about someone that isn’t true. Gossip destroys relationships, devastates people and causes harm hard to repair. Gossip destroys trust.
Gossip starts so easily, and usually innocently.
A friend of mine was recently struggling with a health issue that wouldn’t go away. Normal treatment wasn’t effective. Because of family history, the doctor’s checked for a brain tumor, there was none. A few weeks later I was having lunch with a different friend. Knowing of my other friend’s struggles, she told me she’d heard something. When I asked her what she had heard, it was that my friend had cancer. A total lie, somehow started innocently that spread like wildfire. I debunked the lie immediately.
Gossip isn’t a harmless sin, it’s tendrils are long and deep. People ruin others’ lives because of the lies they tell. Lies we believe easily because we’d rather see the worst in people than the best. As Christ follower’s, fighting gossip is an everyday battle we can’t avoid.
How do we fight the battle?
First we mustn’t gossip. Set the example for others. Don’t talk about other people. Don’t spread lies. Don’t start rumors. Don’t gossip. Secondly, when someone starts to gossip to you, stop them. Don’t allow them to lie about others. If you know the truth, tell them the truth. If you don’t know the truth, and they don’t know the truth, then don’t talk about the subject at all. And when you falter and partake in gossip, confess your sin. God already knows, confess to Him. He’ll lead you in what to do to repair the mistake.
Gossip is juicy, but following God is juicier.
Question of the Day:
Who have you gossiped about lately?
Further Reading: 2 Kings 18:13-19:37 NIV, Acts 21:1-17 NIV, Psalm 149:1-9 NIV, Proverbs 18:8 NIV