Gossip is destructive

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Perhaps the worst sin of our generation is gossip about others. I don't know who ever made the ridiculous statement that “sticks and stones may hurt my bones, but words will never hurt me”; but words can be very painful. The most painful wounds in life are those inflicted by a careless or cruel person's words. It hurts bad when someone whom we look up to hurts us; but it hurts even worse when we unintentionally hurt someone who looks up to us. Gossip is so subtle, and if you're not careful you'll find yourself gossiping every time.

There is no shortage of slander and gossip weaving its way through our society. All of us have, at some point been the victims of hurtful gossip and all of us have been the issuer of gossip or the entertainer of gossip.

 A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret (Proverbs 11:13).

Where there is no sense of belonging or unity, gossip can provide a superficial feeling of cohesion, in the ‘us against them’ division.

A busybody - This is a person who meddles in the affairs of others. They are snoops and spies who are always trying to dig up dirt on others. They love rumors and take great delight in uncovering sensational details they can spread to give themselves a feeling of power. They are very clever at how they elicit information from others. They often act as two-faced double agents who use cunning and flattery to gather information while appearing innocent and angelic. Usually busybodies have too much time on their hands, and they go from one person to another seeking information about others as if they themselves have no faults...their phones are always ringing. They are nothing more than "peeping-toms" who uncover private things that are none of their business.

Prayer requests - This is a huge problem! I wish I had a dollar for every time someone has come to me and  shared a "prayer concern" disclosing personal details about someone else's life. This is nothing more than an angelic mask covering a sinister plot. If we are sharing gossip in the form of "prayer requests" we are only deceiving ourselves. This subtle form of gossip is perhaps the most damaging because many Christians justify this sin as "concern" or a "burden." Busybodies who have perfected their craft appear innocent, but their constant whispering opens the door for the enemy to meddle in the affairs of God's people, and such sin will be exposed in the last days. We mustn't kid ourselves. God is not mocked regarding such manipulation and false pretenses.  There's no other way to say it, pretentious concern is still nothing but cleverly masquerading gossip. And what's more, if you listen to such things and remain silent you are just as guilty.

Unloading a heavy heart - Many times a gossip will seek you out as a "prayer partner" where they will unload a heavy heart and personal concerns. They say things like: "I'm so burdened for so-and-so and I just don't know who else to talk to about it." The truth is that gossips would rather discuss dirty details than discovering a solution. "A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends" (Proverbs 16:28). A gossip thrives on negativity and loves to stir up drama wherever he goes. Anyone who is generally concerned with a prayer burden, will go privately to confront that person and express his concerns. Or he should privately go to the pastor or elders so they can directly address the problem. It's important to realize that the longer the gossip continues the deeper the web is entangled, and the more damage will occur.

Unless it is something that a person absolutely needs to know, it is a sin to mention anything that will cast a negative shadow upon another person's character.

The bottom line is that if it's not someone else's business, then we shouldn't repeat a questionable matter to anyone.

Stay away from gossiping people, meddle not with them. One of the hallmark qualities of a true friend is someone who refuses to gossip about you behind your back. As a matter of fact, we should never listen to or gossip about anyone!

Proverb 11:13 reads, "A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter." Do you have a faithful spirit? Or are you a troublemaker who enjoys hurting others with your mouth?

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