Proverbs 18:7-8 (NKJV) A fool’s mouth is his destruction, And his lips are the snare of his soul. The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, And they go down into the inmost body.
Which of us have not been the victim of gossip, back stabbing or rumors? Which of us are not guilty of it?
- talebearer noun informer, gossiper, newsmonger, rumorer, rumormonger, scandalmonger, telltale
- gossip noun a person who habitually retails private, scandalous, or sensational and often inaccurate information; circulator, gossipmonger, long tongue, mumblenews, newsmonger, rumorer, rumormonger, scandalizer, scandalmonger, sieve, talebearer, telltale; concerning the buzz, cry, grapevine, hearsay, rumble, rumor, scuttlebutt, talk; like conversation, story, tale; babble, banter, chatter, prater; gossip
verb to disclose something, often of questionable veracity, that is better kept to oneself; synonyms: blab, noise rumor, talk, tattle, babble, chat, chatter, prate, prattle; hint, imply, insinuate, intimate, suggest; dish the dirt, spill the beans, tell idle tales, tell tales out of school
It is human nature to enjoy gossip and hear the “dirt” on somebody. It appeals to our sinful nature. We also find a sense of camaraderie and “mutual elevation” when we indulge with one another in the mutual agreement of someone’s faults or failures. As Christians, it is easy for us to avoid the blatant gossip monger.. “hey did you hear about..”. Why, that is downright unrighteous and uncalled for! We just won’t be apart of it!
But what about these ever popular rationalization for going ahead with that story:
- “Now, I’m not trying to gossip, but…”?
- “…this is strictly private between you and me, I just need your opinion…”?
- And the granddaddy of Christians “I’m only telling you this so that you will know how to pray…”?
Mmm.. tasty. Oooo… juicy.
“I will be sure to pray for them.”
Let’s see what Scripture has to say about gossipers, slanderers, talebearers and whisperers:
- They can’t be trusted:
- Proverbs 11:13 (NKJV) A talebearer reveals secrets, But he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter.
- They destroy friendships:
- Proverbs 16:28 (NKJV) A perverse man sows strife, And a whisperer separates the best of friends.
- They can’t keep a secret:
- Proverbs 20:19 (NKJV) He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets; Therefore do not associate with one who flatters with his lips.
- They cause strife everywhere they go:
- Proverbs 26:20 (NKJV) Where there is no wood, the fire goes out; And where there is no talebearer, strife ceases.
- God will judge them harshly:
- Psalm 101:4-5 (NKJV) A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will not know wickedness. Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, Him I will destroy; The one who has a haughty look and a proud heart, Him I will not endure.
- They are unrighteous and debased:
- Romans 1:28-29 (NKJV) And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness,… they are whisperers… backbiters… untrustworthy… unloving… who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.
- They have too much time on their hands:
- 1 Timothy 5:13 (NKJV) And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not.
- They are disorderly and lazy:
- 2 Thessalonians 3:11 (NKJV) For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies.
Don’t gossip. Don’t spread stories. Don’t rationalize having to disseminate “information” so that people can “pray properly” (unless a truly holy and righteous, Spirit-led reason is obvious).
O, how many times our mouths get us in trouble. How many things can you think of that you wish you could take back? How desensitized we have become to this scourge of “informing” each other.
What should we be “gossiping” about?
Philippians 4:8 (NKJV) Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things.
Meditate on these things. Think about these things. Talk concerning these things. Tell stories of these things. “Gossip” about these things.
Our Father, convict us if we are guilty of gossip, tale-bearing and news-spreading while rationalizing it as something “good” so “we can pray about it”. May our mouths be bound by Phil 4:8. We ask for Your strength to harness our tongue that it may only be a source of blessing and holiness. In Jesus name, Amen.
Contemplation: Do you gossip? Are you sure? Do we have God’s standard about gossip, or the worlds?
Application: The world has a much loose standard about gossiping than God does (like most things!). Be sure to honestly evaluate which standard you are measuring yourself by.
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?