Gossip is something we as humans do probably everyday and we don’t even realize it. Gossip is one of those things that can be so destructive and so hurtful that it can have lasting effects on the one it is directed at. Gossip often times leads to rumors and rumors destroy and break relationships that are hard to bring back together. The Bible has much to say about gossip, so let’s see how God feels about gossip.
In simple terms, gossip is a conversation two or more people have with each other that is about someone else or other people. Most of the time, gossip is not praise or talking highly of someone else. Rather, gossip is rumors, it is false information or talking about someone else in a negative way. If we would not say it to them directly, and we are talking about them, it is probably gossip. Talking negatively about other people behind their back is something we should never do.
The Proverbs have a thing or two to say about gossiping or slandering someone else. Proverbs 16:28, “A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.” Proverbs 10:8 also says, “The one who conceals hatred has lying lips, and whoever utters slander is a fool.” The wisdom provided here says a lot about what gossip can do. Here called a whisperer, someone who talks about others behind their back, can separate close friends. If you tell someone something bad about another person, the person you told can go and tell that other person what you said and if you were close friends, you may not be anymore. We cannot control what other people say and do. When gossip occurs, it can sever relationships. It can wound relationships so bad that it can either take a long time to heal, or the blow may be so severe that it can never be repaired with that person. That person may not want to associate with you anymore because of the negative things you say about them. Gossip can ruin and end relationships. It is something we should never want to do.
From the beginning, we see that slander or gossip has never been acceptable in God’s eyes. Leviticus 19:6 says, “You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the life of your neighbor: I am the Lord.” Psalm 34:13, “Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.” Why such a strict command? God wants his people to live in a way that encourages those around them. If we go around slandering other people and talking about them behind their back, we are not building up relationships with them, we are destroying them. Our words hurt and when we hurt other people intentionally, Christ’s love is not shown through us.
Our words can do so much. They can either build up or destroy as Proverbs 18:21 points out. Our tongue, or our words, can bring life to others or they can bring death and destruction wherever we go. Paul knows the seriousness of our words when he writes to the Ephesians. He tells them, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”- Ephesians 4:29. We should not speak to someone to about someone that would not encourage them. If what we say would not encourage them and let them know we love them, it is not the right thing to say. Gossip is corrupting talk. When gossip occurs there is slander, rumors, and lies that often surface and spread. We cannot let our words bring destruction and corruption, rather, they should bring grace and love.
In conclusion, we should stay away from gossip and gossiping. God tells us that it is not good and it does not show others the love of Christ we should have. Our words should bring encouragement to everyone who hears and a beacon of hope to those who listen.