Gossip can quickly drain a person’s spirit. Gossip is negative, mean and destructive. For a gossiper, it is a bad and addictive habit. Gossip will drag the gossiper and those around him or her down to the lowest spiritual level.
If all that isn’t bad enough, God considers gossip a serious sin in the same league as murder, hatred of God, and other wickedness. (Romans 1:28-32) Slanderers are not in right fellowship with God.
“Gossip betrays confidence; therefore avoid the man who talks too much.” — Proverbs 20:19 NIV
Harmless good fun or destructive gossip?
I’m sure you’ll agree that gossip is something we shouldn’t take lightly. What is truly sad is the fact that most Christians do not consider gossip to be a sin or wrong. At most, they consider it an insignificant bad habit.
Gossip is a key factor that inhibits growing prosperity in many people’s lives. And unfortunately, it is rarely recognized. Almost instantly, without thinking, gossipers will let rumors, bad words, confidential information, and idle, malicious talk fly out of their mouths.
If only they knew the damage they cause! The Bible tells us that a Christian whose mouth is out of control is deceiving his own heart and his faith is worthless. (James 1:26)
Let’s face it: gossip isn’t harmless, it’s good fun. It carries a negative tone of abuse that is often humiliating, critical, judgmental, harmful and painful. That’s why God has a lot to say about it and warns us about its destructiveness.
Dealing with gossip
Everywhere from family, work, school to church settings, gossip has become a common destructive factor. It is clearly visible that busy people are everywhere these days. But the question we need to ask ourselves is, “Am I guilty of gossiping?”
Gossip is often disguised as concern for others or prayer requests. However, whenever others are spoken of in an unfavorable manner, gossip occurs.
Remember: gossip is a sin that separates us from God and hinders our progress. God does not bless sin. Gossipers often face inexplicable problems and rarely get their prayers answered. (Psalm 66:18, John 9:31)
“He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will perish.” — Proverbs 13:3 NIV
Tips for dealing with gossip:
AWARENESS. We all have a tendency to gossip from time to time. To overcome this tendency and live a more spirit-filled life without gossip, you need to be aware of when it happens.
PRAYER. It doesn’t matter if you are struggling with a gossip addiction or are a victim of gossip, turning to God in prayer is essential. As a gossiper, repent and ask for forgiveness and pray that God will help you take control of your words and make them words of encouragement. As the victim, pray that God will bless the other person and help them break free as He helps you to keep a heart full of forgiveness and love.
AVOID. Stay out of other people’s business and avoid associating with those who gossip. Refuse to participate in gossip.
CHOOSE. Choose to speak words of encouragement, hope and love. Guide conversations in a positive direction. Choose silence if only destructive words of gossip are on your lips.
LOVE. Walk in love and address gossipers directly and privately in an attempt to resolve your issues with them. If you face gossip, be humble and in love, ready to solve your problems.
Trust me: Gossip can spread quickly like a deadly infection. Don’t ignore the destruction it brings. You can put an end to the negative spirit of gossip and decide to walk in love and a higher spiritual level in life.
May your mouth always speak words of encouragement and may your life be full of growing prosperity!