Gossip is dangerous to participate in and to be around. No matter how mature a person, he cannot listen to gossip and not be affected. It is imperative that we recognize gossip in our own lives and distance ourselves these words.
What then is gossip?
It is easier for us to recognize gossip when its words are horribly slanderous about a person’s sex life, or just not believable in its sensational exaggeration about a person’s past. We can recognize and distance ourselves from these words quite fast. But what about that little guilty pleasure of the supermarket tabloid headline or the latest news we might hear about our neighbors or pastor?
Gossip can be defined as sharing negative information with someone about another person when that someone has no need to know it. Herein lies the heart of gossip—involving others where they just don’t need to be involved, sharing information with others when they don’t need to know the information and wouldn’t be part of the solution to the problem anyway.
Gossip can also include words that are true about a person. However, just because something is true doesn’t make the information prudent to be shared. Can you feel the sting of gossip in these words?
- Did you know he had been married before?
- I understand he went bankrupt twice.
- You know she had a nervous breakdown some years ago.
One of the more destructive forms of gossip can actually happen in the church. It takes place in prayer groups. Most of us have experienced it at one time or another. Gossip is shared in the name of “getting all the information so we know how to pray right.” This is unnecessary because God already knows the details and doesn’t require us to remind Him with the minutiae.
As followers of Christ we’re not to be involved in any kind of gossip. We are meant to prefer one another and outdo one another in showing honor. When it comes to our relationships with other believers, we are admonished to go out of our way to make sure the words that come out of our mouths show honor and respect.
The words of gossip always and on every occasion come against the most essential of all God’s purposes for the church—for its members to live in unity.
We would like to thank Tim Cameron & Charisma House for providing this plan.