Proverbs 16:28, “A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.”
“Did you hear what ‘So and So’ did?” 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 often 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 is like a two-sided coin; the first side is saying something that is true or partially true with bad motives about someone behind their back. The second side brings people into a situation that shouldn’t be involved. 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 a biblical perspective. First, God addresses slandering gossip in 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 is addressed in Proverbs 20:19, “A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much.” When you are told something in private that involves delicate information you are to keep your mouth closed (excluding potential injury or harm to the one involved or others). If you break trust and begin spreading the information to people not involved, you are guilty of creating a problem and are in the wrong.
Certainly, “sinful secrets” that harm people like suicide, incest, stealing, adultery 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 to others?” Because the ole’ saying is true, “Whoever gossips to you, will gossip about you!”
Whether people spread lies or break confidence; gossip will never produce good fruit because it comes from a sinful root.
Do you struggle with gossip? Then pray this out loud, “Father, forgive me for the times I have gossiped by either slandering someone or sharing private information. Please grant me self-control, the wisdom when to speak and love for my neighbor so that I will only say what pleases you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Do you gossip?
- Repent if you have ever been a gossip or listened to gossip.
- Pray and ask God to help you not to slander or expose people’s personal information.
- Do unto others, as you would have them to do you.