Without a doubt you know someone who is a gossip because all they do is gossip. They probably even drool when they hear something ‘good’. I mean ‘good’ as in really juicy. It might big. It might be little. If it is something they can tell others and cause trouble or get a reaction, then they are happy.
These career gossips may or may not realize they are gossips. In fact, some of us reading this may need to take a few moments to pause and examine our own lives to see if we (not me of course) ever gossip.
Here is the test for closet gossips.
First, they really don’t like the word ‘gossip’. They think it is wrong to gossip. In fact they KNOW it is wrong to gossip. In order for a person like this to gossip they must first come up with a ‘reason’ to spread around something that should not be spread around.
They think and think and think about some bit of information they have heard until they decide that they need to ‘talk to someone’ about it ‘for the good of the person involved’. That becomes their excuse to gossip. He/she says, ‘I know this about the problem Sweet-Nell is having. I need to talk to Precious-Pete about the situation with Nell. I will have to tell Pete about the problem so he can help me think up a way to do something about it.’ The gossip tells herself that she just wants to help Nell. However, what she REALLY wants is to get to tell someone all about the problem Nell is having. The gossip convinces herself that she is doing it all for a ‘good cause’. Yeah, right. The good cause is she wants to gossip. Gossip is really slander. It is evil.
Also, while a gossip is often stereotyped as a woman with nothing to do, gossips are all ages, economic and social levels, and both genders. Everyone is tempted to gossip. Some are more predisposed to gossip than others, but no one is exempt from the temptation.
I am not saying that there is never a real reason to seek help or discuss an important matter with someone other than the exact people involved. However, it is not often. The main thing is that most things told in secret or overheard somehow do not need to be repeated. And, they should certainly not be discussed without the express permission of the person/people involved.
Gossip accuses people of doing something wrong.
The devil is the accuser of the brethren, but gossips do his work for him.
Revelation 12:10 tells us, ‘And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.’
How the devil must love gossip. The most famous snake of them all has millions of traitors within the church cowardly accusing their brothers and sisters in Christ of sins, while constantly doing the devil’s work themselves. Talk about have a log in your eye while telling the world about a speck in someone else’s eye!
Gossipers are thieves. They steal other people’s reputations! Does anyone know where you go to recover a stolen reputation? They also steal away friendships. When a lie has been told about someone to a friend, that friend is hurt. Their trust in the friend is shaken. The innocent person winds up trying to restore trust with someone when they haven’t done anything at all. (Of course a friend of many years is not easily taken in by gossip. However, how many new friendships have been ruined by a gossip?)
Proverbs 16:27 says, ‘An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips there is as a burning fire.’
A gossip looks for evil in others. The ungodly are gossips. He/she gossips with a passion like a raging forest fire!
A gossip is a modern day word for a talebearer. The Bible has some choice words to say about them…
A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter. Proverbs 11:13
This one is really good. If you hear a rumor, do not repeat it.
The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly. Proverbs 18:8
This is certainly true. Learning about gossip about yourself or your family or friends does feel like you have been stabbed in the stomach.
He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips. Proverbs 20:19
Pay attention to this one. If someone is a known gossip do not associate with them. If you have to be around them be careful to say nothing at all. Also, try to never be alone with them for a second. Then you will have a witness if they start gossip about you.
Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.
Don’t waste a lot of time trying to explain or stop gossip. That may
just gives fuel to the fire. Remove yourself from it. Also, it is my firm opinion that BEFORE you defend a friend in a gossip episode – you need to first ask your friend if he or she WANTS to be defended. Sometimes it just stirs the pot and keeps the problem going longer. Once in my experience there was a terrible rumor about a good friend. A letter to the editor of a local newspaper was written filled with lies about my friend. I asked him if he wanted me to write a letter in his defense. He said no thank you because he thought it would only keep the gossip going longer. The charges were totally and provably false. He just thought his friends would know they were false and others would not believe they were false no matter what who came to his defense. He had the final say and I did not write a letter of defense.
What is the result of gossip?
It hurts the gossip. People may want to listen to a gossip, but no one really likes them. Certainly no one trusts them. By the way, a gossip can take the most innocent remark and twist it or exaggerate it into something entirely different. Once burned, no one trusts a gossip or wants to be around them.
It divides people. People who might have been good friends based on common interest and beliefs are separated by the hurt that comes from gossip.
It can crush a church. One person’s big mouth can cause a church to split entirely. Efforts to evangelize are completely neutralized by the gossip of one wicked tongue.
It makes the church and Christians look bad to the unsaved world.
What can you do about gossip?
Start by recognizing the source of gossip or tale-bearing. It is the devil. Gossips do the devils work. Do you work for God or the devil?
Then determine that you will not listen to gossip under any circumstances. If you are in doubt regarding whether something is gossip or not give it the old ‘THINK’ test. I know it has been around for years and may be a bit on the corny side. I also know I have no idea who came up with it in the first place. It wasn’t me. Anyway here it is. When evaluating conversation as to whether or not it has stepped over the line into gossip ask yourself:
Is it True
Is it Helpful
Is it Inspiring
Is it Necessary
Is it Kind
Remember true gossips may go through the ‘think’ process and still want to gossip. That is when they convince themselves that they need to ‘talk it over’ with someone in order to ‘help’. Gossip destroys the gossiper and everything they profess to love.
Do not gossip yourself!
Do not listen to gossip!
By Barbara Henderson
Please visit my author page on Amazon Kindle
My books are:
The Broad Way
Oh Worship the King
Christian Self-Help and Encouragement 2012
(just a collection of articles from my blog http://tobarbara.blogspto.com )
If you get a chance please read my books and recommend them to others.
Thank you all.