Maybe, like you, I didn’t think I had a problem with gossip. When I thought about it, I imagined a bunch of other people sipping iced tea and spilling the juiciest rumors. You know, because it’s always the other people. I thought I couldn’t relate. Then I dug a little deeper.
There are two primary factors that turn a conversation into a gossip session: when I’m trying to make myself look better at someone else’s expense, and when I’m sharing embarrassing information about someone without their knowledge or permission.
As I began to think about gossip this way, I recalled some conversations with my wife.
When I was passed over for that promotion, I consoled myself by explaining why the other guy didn’t deserve it.
When our finances didn’t look so great, it felt better to discuss all the reasons why that other couple had more money.
When we didn’t agree with someone, we chose to talk with another couple about all the reasons why they were wrong instead of addressing the issues directly.
Gossip does affect me—in a big way. And, like we read in James 3, if I can’t control my tongue, the rudder, my whole life could head off course. Do you ever feel like your big fat mouth leads you away from God? There’s good news: You can crush gossip. Here’s how. Admit it as sin to God and people you love. Then, pray for help and forgiveness. Ask the Holy Spirit and people you trust to remind you whenever it flares up. Finally, crush it again with some more honest prayer and confession.
Pray: God, You know my heart. Reveal to me the ways I use words to push others down to lift myself up. Forgive me. Holy Spirit, give me the strength to crush gossip in my life. Amen.