Watch Your Mouth!
Watch your mouth!
"A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of friends." - Proverbs 16:28
Gossip is quite an interesting little sin. It may seem obvious that gossip is wrong. Most of us, even those who don't profess Christ, would probably agree that gossip is not something that brings about good. God says in his Word that gossip only brings trouble, and gossipers are listed among evildoers in Romans 1:29. So the easy answer to the question, "Is gossip a sin?" is, "Yes." However, when we examine our lives, do we really believe that's true?
Gossip is sneaky. And that's because it's so prevalent. It's everywhere. It's so common that we oftentimes overlook it. We have become desensitized to gossip. That is not okay. Gossip is destructive. Gossip is evil. Gossip is never necessary or merited. Gossip is satanic. It should not be part of our lives, especially within the Church! Why is there so much gossip in the Church? As James 3:10 says, "From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so!"
At this point, many of us attempt to justify gossip based upon our different situations. So, first, let's give gossip a definition so that we can identify it properly. Gossip is anything negative said about a person when that person is not present. It's that simple. There are obviously exceptions such as when someone is in danger, but then it should not be said in a negative way, anyway. Many of us are guilty of using prayer requests as an excuse to gossip. For example, "I'm really worried about Suzie-Jo. She is just so far deep in her sin that I don't think she'll ever turn around! Can you blame her after seeing who she hangs out with? Let's pray that she'll find better friends and turn her life around." This is terrible. We are corrupting the beautiful fellowship of believers when we do this. Sometimes we think we are entitled to gossip if someone has hurt us in some way. We go and inform someone of what this person did. This is also unacceptable and still gossip. We are not entitled to sin just because someone sins against us.
So what do we do when we encounter gossip? We should put an end to it as soon as we hear it. If someone comes to you with gossip, encourage the other person to have a conversation with the person they're gossiping about, and maybe go talk to them about it yourself (But take the gossiper with you, if you can. You don't want to become a gossiper in the process!). If you are tempted to gossip about somebody, don't! Go talk to them and resolve the issue. Gossip does not have to be an issue. Talk less. Don't put up with gossip and slander. Keep control over your mouth. Everyone is created in God's image. So remember this the next time you consider gossiping: you're saying these things about God's image and workmanship.