Now we all like to wag our fingers on a chit chatting person, condemning him/her to be a tattler, but every time we give in to the temptation of carrying news about Mr & Mrs A to Mr & Mrs B, we are indulging in gossip. It may be a very casual or general conversation, with no objective or aim in mind, maybe to just let a third person know that we are well aware of all that is happening, and you may call it ‘networking’ or ‘socializing’ but it still is gossip!
The Psalmist hath said thus:
They visit me as if they were my friends, but all the while they gather gossip, and when they leave, they spread it everywhere. (Psalm 41:6 NLT)
Well, I have often been gossiped to, many more times I have tattled, and some other times I have been at the receiving end of gossip. My personal experience from all these is that neither of the three experience is pleasant.
Here are my arguments on why gossiping is not a commendable quality in a Christian, and how it is harming us or our community.
1. It is not always the truth
Proverbs 16:28 NLT
A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of friends.
With countless witnesses and accounts tagging along a piece of rumor, you may want to argue against this point, but let’s be honest about it. We don’t always know the complete truth. We might know the accurate account of happenings, but we don’t know the intent or the thoughts of one’s heart. Only God knows, and only He can judge them.
Also, just because a story is true, it doesn’t give one the license to go about sharing it to every person coming one’s way. If you get to know of something fishy happening, the best way to deal with it would be to share it with your pastor or leader who can help settle or solve it, than telling it to the gossip hungry brother or sister living next door!
2. It is not encouraging or edifying
Ephesians 4:29 NLT
…Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
Have you ever spent a long amount of time listening to gossip about someone and came back home thinking, “Wow, that was really encouraging!”? Of course, no! If anything, it is only going to be a discouragement to you.
Also, it’s wise not to assume that the one listening to your stories are enjoying it or are being helped by it as much as you are enjoying telling them. You lose the favor of God on your tongue when you use your words for anything other than to encourage and to bring forth life.
3. It is carrier of bad news
Romans 1:29 includes gossip as one of the main characters of the godless people. What God has not called us to be are carriers of gossip, but of the gospel. Gossip, is never a good news! It is always bad news and negatives.
You don’t want to be wasting your time, effort and energy indulging in idle chit chat, when God has entrusted you with the mission of spreading of the gospel of Jesus Christ!
4. It is not an act of love
1 Peter 4:8 NLT
Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.
If your heart is not willing to cover a multitude of sins by another friend or believer, it definitely is not willing to love. Since God has called us to be imitators of God’s character, His greatest character being love, we need to learn to be people who live aloof of gossip.
Now, being in church leadership, there are times when I’ve had to discuss issues about the people God has placed under our leadership, but the objective of such discussion is to bring healing and restoration in their lives, the intent for the same also is love, and never contempt.
Gossip always destroys us, and even the church community that God has placed us in.
How has gossip affected you? Has it ever brought any kind of encouragement? How have you resolved to avoid gossip? What would you like to add? Please share in the comments below.