I don’t know of anyone that hasn’t been affected by gossip nor do I know anyone who hasn’t been the gossiper a few times during their life. While It is human nature and not always meant to bring harm to others, gossip is defined as idle talk or rumor, especially about the personal or private affairs of others. The privacy of someone else that is not yours to talk about.
Even Christians get caught up in ‘idle talk’ when we justify who we are ‘adding to the prayer list’. If it is not your business, then it is not yours to tell or talk to other about.
One of the worst things someone can do is to talk negatively about someone behind their back.
Gossip is sinful.
Gossip is toxic.
Gossip is immature.
A couple of months ago, in a ladies Bible study, I heard a lesson on gossip in comparison with cancer. I, immediately, could see the relation between the two but I had never thought about it until then. Cancer affects the whole family. Cancer leaves us feeling hopeless, tears us down and leads to death. Doesn’t gossip do just the same?
James 1:26 says, “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.”
In the class, we changed the word cancer to gossip. Each horrible thing that cancer does to the body and to its loved ones, gossip does the same. But also, just like cancer has remission, our sin of gossip can too. We will have the same hope again as someone in remission with cancer.
Before engaging in casual conversation, ask yourself if it follows the example given to us in Eph 4, verse 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.”
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8
Today, let us try to remember sincere compassion and to give sympathy. Let us resist judgment. We do not know what they are going through. We have our own struggles, even if no one knows. Let’s not forget what trials we have been through and have overcome that someone else may just now be enduring. Let us empathize remembering the tough times we, ourselves, have gone through. Let someone know that you are praying for them and ask them if they need anything more. Quietly and sincerely pray for those you love.
According to psychologists, there is a response that can stop gossip. Simply ask your friend engaging in the conversation, “Why are you telling me this?”