Gossip is something that has affected all of our lives in one way or another. We’ve listened to it, spread it, and been victims of it. The scary thing about gossip, however, is what the Word says about it and the fact that we succumb to it so quickly that we hardly ever take it for the serious offense it really is.
Prov. 26:20-22 says
20 Where there is no wood, the fire goes out; and where there is no talebearer, strife ceases.
21 As charcoal is to burning coals, and wood to fire, so is a contentious man to kindle strife.
22 The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles and they go down into the inmost body.
We see through this scripture that gossip has very negative and damaging effects—it kindles strife and contention. I’ve coined 4 areas of gossip that I’d like to share based on my opening statement—we’ve listened to it, spread it and been victims of it. Out of this all of us can claim the following about gossip:
I heard it
I told it
I used it
I felt it
I heard It!
Some of us think it’s alright to listen to gossip. After all, we’re not hurting anyone by listening. We can’t possibly be faulted for this because we weren’t the one who started spreading the information. Right? Wrong! The Bible says that listening to gossip is just as bad as spreading the words of hurt.
Let’s look at how nasty listening sounds in Proverbs 17:4: “An evildoer gives heed to false lips, a liar listens eagerly to a spiteful tongue.” Now doesn’t that sound ugly? The Bible says that we are equal to an evildoer when we listen to gossip!
I heard it—yes, I heard it all when a sister called to tell me the latest happenings at church! How many times have we been on the phone listening to the church 411? How many of us have eagerly listened to someone tell us what they know, or what they think they know, or what they’re pretty sure they know? How many times has someone called our house with the preface “Chile, did you hear?” Even when they make false claims to be concerned and want to keep the situation in “prayer” they rant on and on with an hour long conversation that never ends in prayer!
We have to be careful about what we allow ourselves to hear. Gossip is a destroyer—it can tear someone’s entire life apart—it destroys people’s character, it destroys marriages, families and relationships!
Our response to the 411 call should be to prohibit the information from flowing on the other parties lips and diving into prayer immediately with a fiery prayer that goes something like this: “Lord, we thank you for Sis. _____ and we know that she may be going through something but only you know! Teach us how to love her and show her love and not talk about her but pray for her and her situation. Help us, Lord, to encourage her through whatever she’s going through because we never know, Lord, when it will be our turn.” Then you finish your prayer by saying, “Well, I feel better already because I know that the Lord is going to fix whatever Sis. ____ is going through. Well, girl, I gotta go, I’ll talk to you later!
You may not get any more 411 calls after that! But you will establish yourself as a sister who truly believes in the power of intercessory prayer and the edification of the body of Christ. It is important to understand that when you listen to gossip a lot of times you are told information that you know that if the person knew you knew—they would crawl under a rock! Some of the stuff we hear we don’t have any business listening to—It’s none of our business! We should hold the private information of others as highly as we hold our own. We’ll continue next month with part two—until then...HUSH Your Mouth!