Gossip – What not to do
Gossip is idle talk or rumors about the personal or private matters of others. A gossiper purposely gathers information about others and shares bits or pieces to try and destroy character in another. A gossiper twists information to appear to be different than it really is to make someone else look bad. It is sharing private information with those who are not part of the problem or part of the solution. God hates this sin.
When you share things about others that you would be humiliated or ashamed to say in their presence, you are not only disobeying God’s clear instructions in His Word (Leviticus 19:16), you are also attempting to destroy that person’s reputation in the mind of the listener. (You are also sowing a seed you will not want to reap in the future….but you will!)
Scripture states that the sin of gossip is not limited to the spreading of just lies, but also is inclusive of improper involvement in the affairs of another person as well. You are placing yourself in another’s personal business (1 Timothy 5:13).
As a listener to gossip you are also participating in the same sin (Proverbs 20:19). By willfully listening to someone destroy someone else, you are showing your approval of the destructive behavior and are equally involved in the destruction of the other person’s reputation.
WHAT SCRIPTURE SAYS
“For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I wish, and that I shall be found by you such as you do not wish; lest there be contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, backbitings, whisperings, conceits, tumults”
(2 Corinthians 12:20).
“And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not”
(1 Timothy 5:13).
“You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people; nor shall you take a stand against the life of your neighbor; I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:16).
“For I heard many mocking: ‘Fear on every side!’ ‘Report,’ they say, ‘and we will report it.’ All my acquaintances watched for my stumbling, saying, ‘…we will take our revenge on him” (Jeremiah 20:10).
“Likewise the soldiers asked him, saying, ‘And what shall we do?’ So he said to them, ‘Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages”
“Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and destroy. Who are you to judge another?” (James 4:11-12)
“Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone…” (Matthew 18:15).
Matthew 18:15 gives the Scriptural solution to gossip. If you have something against someone, you should definitely go to that person to try and make it right. You should tell your problem and be willing to listen to his/her side of the story. No matter who is wrong or if there is simply a miscommunication, you will have a chance to apologize.
If you were correct and the other person’s words or actions have in some way offended you or harmed you, then that person has the opportunity to repent. Scripture gives further instruction concerning what to do in the event the other person does not repent (Matthew 18:16-17). In many cases, what was said and what was heard are different. Miscommunication occurs in all relationships. This is why it is a good practice to repeat back what you thought you heard the other person tell you when receiving instructions. This is especially essential in a healthy marriage.
When you catch yourself gossiping, repent immediately so that God will forgive you of this horrific, destructive sin. Gossip primarily has its roots in jealousy, hate and self-pride. As a born-again Christian you should be showing love to people but instead are showing hate when you gossip (1 John 2:9,11; 3:15). You are murdering the person in your heart when you choose to willfully use your tongue against another person.
Hidden issues in a person’s heart from inferiority to experiencing trauma from the loss of a loved one or some other traumatic event can create hidden jealousy in the heart until healed by Jesus. This causes the person to be blind to their own sin.
Is it any wonder why more people do not get saved!!!! When people who do not know Jesus see Christians murdering other Christians with their tongue, can you imagine why they would want to get saved? We as the body of Christ must purify ourselves from this deadly sin.
Seek the fruit of the Spirit and choose to walk in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. As you acquire these virtues, you will not be envying others (Galatians 5:22-26). You will not be prone to gossip but filled with the love of Christ to think of others as worthy of your love and respect. As you display or show love and respect to others, you will receive love, honor and respect in return.
Father, please forgive me for being a part of any gossip, both for speaking or listening to it and for passing it on. Forgive me for misappropriating or misrepresenting any situation to someone else as well. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
If you find yourself envious or jealous of others, practice giving God thanks for them and for their blessings. This moves you into the favor zone or blessing zone to be blessed yourself rather than criticizing and wondering why they are blessed and why you might think you are not. You do not know what that person has invested to get where they are today. When you choose to gossip about someone in this way, you block your own blessings from God.
Purposely find someone who is doing what you want to do, and choose to help them, bless them, and assist them. God will promote you Himself as you are faithful in the little things and He sees the purity in your heart. It takes time in the process. Get started today. God can restore to you what you have lost as you humble yourself and submit to God’s Word.
Romans 1:29 Whispering
Romans 1:30 Backbiting
1 Timothy 6:4 Evil surmising
1 Corinthians 13:1 Love does not seek its own
Ecclesiastes 10:1 Babbling
Psalm 41:5 Evil speaking
Proverbs 17:9 Reporting matters
Exodus 20:16 Bearing false witness
Proverbs 11:13 Revealing a secret
Hung By The Tongue by Francis P. Martin
KYMS by Mickey Bonner
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