Gossip happens every day. Some of it may be good, but a majority is considered bullying, inappropriate and an act of sinful nature. Nowadays with phones, computers and technology, a rumor (gossip) can spread instantly.
The earliest known use of gossip was by Shakespeare. In a quote he stated, “Upon my tongue continual slanders ride, The which in every language I pronounce, Stuffing the ears of man with false reports.” Many of us need to memorize this quote and learn the old adage, “think before you speak”.
I never thought about gossip being a sin until a former pastor did a sermon on the word. In Proverbs 18:8, ” The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts”. In Romans 1:29 and 30, 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, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful;”. That passage really made me think. Gossip is just as bad as murder in God’s eyes. 2 Corinthians 12:20, ” For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition,slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.” I see each of these sins almost daily. It is heartbreaking to me knowing that even though God has deemed these sins, many so called Christians will do some of these acts daily. 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 busybodies who talk nonsense, saying things they ought not to.” 3 John 1:10, “So when I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, spreading malicious nonsense about us. Not satisfied with that, he even refuses to welcome other believers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.”
When we choose to gossip or listen to gossip we are demeaning the product of our gossip. Even if the gossip started out mild, as it gets spread, so does its meaning. Nothing ever gets told the same way twice. Someone has to embellish the tale, thereby changing it’s meaning.
This Soviet war poster conveys the message: “Don’t chatter! Gossiping borders on treason” (1941).
Gossip is wrong. This is a simple lesson to learn. I know I’m trying to learn this lesson. Even if the facts are true, it is still gossip. Most of all, try and desist talking about someone unless you have all the facts and this person has given you permission to discuss them. Case in point, I have a friend who is dying of cancer. She has asked me to get her story out so she can generate more prayers. Not prayers for continuation of her life, but prayers for some measure of relief from pain as her time to die draws near. Her faith in God grows stronger as he leads her on this path.
Researching all of this has put gossip on a new level for me. This is one place where being a Christian in today’s society can be challenging. I want to challenge you to make this walk of change with me.