(a) idle talk or rumor, especially about the personal or private affairs of others: (Dictionary.com)
(b) information about the behavior and personal lives of other people (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
“Gossip need not be false to be evil- there’s a lot of truth that shouldn’t be passed around.” – Frank A. Clark
In our culture, gossip is normal human behavior. Truly, it is. In any institution we have a role in (home, school, church, work etc.), gossip is so normalize sometimes we do not know that we do it. As the above definitions stated, gossip is “information” about another person’s life. Therefore, it’s also human behavior to judge and label the person that is the topic of discussion. But my friend, gossip is beyond that.
We must shift our mind and remember gossip is sin.
“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace for the hearers.” -Ephesians 4:29
What is sin? “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” -1 John 3:4
Therefore, when we gossip (whether it is truth or not), we go against God’s Word/Law and pull away from Him entirely. We lessen our chance to enter the kingdom of God. Thus, the question now becomes: when we gossip, what does it say about us?
Sister/Brother, when we gossip our intentions are never good. We become talebearers and often slander our brother or sister even if the gossip is true. We present ourselves as unloving and destructive. So what you say about Sister Sally says more of you than of Sister Sally. The same breath we use to gossip about Sister Sally, is the same breath we can use to pray for Sister Sally.
In order for us to become better woman, we must change our mindset and realize gossip is straight up ugly. Gossip is foolish, mean and simply evil. And if Christ ask us to love our neighbors as ourselves, how then do we practice loving ourselves while destructing our fellow brother/sister?
“If God so loved us, we also ought to love one another….if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.”- 1 John 4:11-12
Ironically, gossip can be a struggle. When you’re sitting around with your girlfriends or homies and information leaks, our flesh wants to hear more. Omgsh, she slept with who? I knew she was no good? And she got an abortion? That whore! And he’s with who? He is dead wrong (who are we to judge and label: this is not reproof). Trust me I know. But we have to evaluate and realize that we must not dwell with talebearers and worst of all, be a talebearer.
“He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets; Therefore do not associate with one who flatters with his lips.” – Proverbs 20:19
Sister/Brother, the Word is clear. If we associate ourselves with a talebearer, it is also sin. Clearly whatever the Bible instructs us, if we disobey we are trangressing. Therefore evaluate the life you live. What words do you release, what do you allow within?
Sister/Brother, let us aspire to live righteous and away from gossip. When we hear gossip, let us remove ourselves physically and/or stand up for the sister/brother in love. Trust me, that will cause some folk to dislike you but it’s important for us to do the will of God, not for other to like us. Approach the person that is being gossip about and share encouragement, or if you’re not moved to do that, pray for them and pray that you love them. Prevent your name from being removed from the book of life. Love on a sister or brother, especially if she/he is your enemy. Love on them. And automatically, when you love on them, you love on you, but you also love on Christ. Let us not only be beautiful in our appearance, but let us also be beautiful in our hearts and minds.
Additional scriptures on gossip: Proverbs 11:13, Proverbs 18:8, Proverbs 26:20, Leviticus 19:16, Psalms 50:20, Exodus 23:1, James 4:11, Proverbs 16:28
Additional scriptures on love: 1 John 4:20-21, 1 Thessalonians 5:11, Mark 12:31, Philippians 4:8, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8