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Jul 27, 2016 by Will Maule

Gossip Is The Subtle Sin That Needs To Stop NOW

Gossip. We have all done it. Inadvertently or not, it is so easy to gossip. It doesn't affect you, it can be fun, and the person in question is none the wiser, right? Wrong. There is so much that is damaging about gossiping, and with the explosion of social media and the public dissemination of personal information, it is just so easy to entertain a gossiping session with a close friend, and to think absolutely nothing of it! See, gossip is a subtle sin, and one that many Christians would innately justify. Come on, it is not okay. Let's cut it out. 

Will Maule

Will Maule is a journalist and editor at HelloChristian.com. He's married to his wife Caroline and has a little baby boy. He loves guitars, tennis, golf, and tea. Will lives in Northern Ireland.

There are several options presented to us when we hear a piece of "juicy goss," as I've heard some call it. But the main choice is simple. We can either blurt it out to as many as possible, or we can keep it to ourselves and pray for the person concerned. Indeed, most gossip surrounds the misfortune of others. Whether it is a relationship breakup, a health problem or some sort of sin that has been committed, it is rarely something that has benefitted the person in question. So we must be careful not to make their predicament worse by spreading their personal life around friends or family. Exchange the urge to gossip with fervently lifting the individual up in prayer.

"Ah yes, but I just tell a trusted few!" you say. That is self-justification for something you shouldn't be doing in the first place. Even your closest and most trustworthy friends may struggle to keep their mouths shut. So why take the risk? If you need to tell your spouse, do it, but be very careful who you share information with - gossiping can creep up on you without you even realizing. What is worse is that the Church, or the various offshoots of it, can be the breeding ground for some of the most toxic gossiping around. If you meet up to pray, let that be what you actually do! Share your lives with each other, don't delve into the narratives of others.

Every time you hear an intriguing bit of news, just pause. Feel that urge to share it? Suppress it. Pray. Ask yourself this question: "Why do I want to share this?" I doubt you will find an adequate answer. Gossiping only brings hurt, pain, and heartache to the person at the center of it, and it never benefits the health of relationships. 

It is incredible how God honors our integrity in these matters. You can actively protect someone else's integrity by keeping your lips buttoned when a gossipy rumor lands itself in your lap. Pray for them, don't be a newscaster for their deepest and darkest. Plus, a lot of the time it will be inaccurate and false. Again, what good comes from gossip? We know what the Bible says: it is CRYSTAL clear. Gossip breeds dissension and distrust, destroying communities (2 Corinthians 12:20) and friendships. “A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends” (Proverbs 16:28, NIV).

May we speak life over those around us, and learn to take things to God first and foremost. Pray for those who have fallen short and cut the chain of gossip when it reaches you. Confront others about their gossipy habits. Let's not be a people of talk, but of action. Combing through the compelling details of someone else's life gets us nowhere. It shrinks us as Christians. Don't entertain gossip in your life any longer. It is time for it to stop. Amen?


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