Proverbs 16:28, “A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.”
“Did you hear what ‘So and So’ did? Well, let me tell you what I heard.” Has anyone ever tried to start a conversation with you like that? Or have you ever gossiped like that before? Gossip is a “secret” sin that people try to cover up many times with “shallow concern” and “false motives” but really it does nothing but stir up conflict because it comes from an unclean heart, Matthew 15:19.
Gossip has two sides of the same coin; first gossip is saying something that is true with bad motives. In other words, involving people in a situation about someone just to make them look bad to others. Second, gossip is not being able to keep a secret. For example, sharing things with others who the information was never meant for- whether the intent was evil or not.
Consider both of these sides from the biblical perspective. First, slandering gossip- Proverbs 26:20, “Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down.” When you do not listen to gossip or spread it you are helping solve the problem. However, if you listen to or spread gossip your words are acting as gasoline on the problem.
Second, loud mouth gossiping- Proverbs 19:20, “A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much.” When you are told something either in private of by a leader that involves delicate information you are to keep your mouth closed. If you break trust and begin spreading the information to people not involved you create a problem and are in the wrong.
Certainly, “sinful secrets” that harm people like suicide, incest, stealing, or the like should be exposed, but things that are private and are shared in decency should remain personal and private. When in doubt consider the Golden Rule, “Would I want someone saying these kind of things about me?”
Do you struggle with gossip? Then pray this out loud, “Jesus, forgive me for the times I have gossiped and slandered people. Or the times I could not keep my mouth shut. Please grant me self-control, wisdom when to speak, and love for my neighbor so that I will only say what pleases you. Amen.”
Are you a gossip?
- Repent if you have ever been a gossip.
- Pray and ask God to help you not slander or expose personal information.
- Do unto others, as you would have them to do you.