By Timothy Jerry
Proverbs 20:19 (NIV) A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much.
Do you know people who talk all of the time or are loose with their mouths? I would strongly advise you to be careful what you share with such people.
People who are loose with their words are generally loose with the way they live as well.
Many people give very little thought about running others down with their mouths. People think that as long as something is true it’s perfectly fine to tell other people.
Gossip is so destructive because it smears a person’s name and reputation. Especially when something is shared with someone in confidence and then the person that was trusted with that confidence betrays that person’s trust by sharing it with others.
Proverbs 22:26 (NIV) The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts.
People love gossip. There are numerous TV shows and tabloid magazines dedicated entirely to sharing stories about celebrity’s lives because people love juicy gossip. This is a common characteristic of the nature of ungodly people.
Proverbs 17:4 (NLT) Wrongdoers eagerly listen to gossip; liars pay close attention to slander.
What’s wrong with a little gossip?
James 3:4-6 (NLT) And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.
According to this passage the words of our mouths set things in motion, both good and bad. Gossip can set a person’s life on fire as surely as a spark can inflame a forest.
Gossip is a violation because the person under discussion is not able to defend themselves.
Gossip is a betrayal, especially when something of a sensitive nature was shared in confidence. That person entrusted something to someone else by placing their trust in that person to guard that information. When it is carelessly told to others it is betraying a trust.
Proverbs 11:13 A gossip goes around telling secrets, but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence.
Gossip is the best way to destroy a friendship. Many friends have become enemies because one of them shared a confidence with someone else.
Proverbs 16:8 A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of friends.
A gossip destroys not only other people’s reputation, they destroy their own too. When someone gets a reputation of being a gossip people don’t trust them, and they end up becoming the object of gossip themselves.
Proverbs 25:9-11 (NLT) When arguing with your neighbor, don’t betray another person’s secret. Others may accuse you of gossip, and you will never regain your good reputation.
Gossip is a tool of the enemy to stir up strife between people. So if you don’t want to be an instrument of the Devil for the advancement of his purposes stop yielding to the temptation to gossip.
Many churches have been divided because a few people spread gossip about the leadership or others in the church.
Proverbs 25:23 (NLT) As surely as a north wind brings rain, so a gossiping tongue causes anger!
Proverbs 26:20 (NLT) Fire goes out without wood, and quarrels disappear when gossip stops.
Causing strife through spreading gossip within the body of Christ is a sin that God specifically declares that He hates!
Proverbs 6:16-19 (NIV) There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.
Evil speaking can actually shorten your life.
Psalm 34:12-13 (NKJV) Who is the man who desires life, And loves many days, that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil, And your lips from speaking deceit.
We can identify the fruit of a person’s life by the way they speak about other people
Matthew 12:33-37 (NKJV) Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Jesus declared that we would be held accountable for every idle word that we speak. Idle words are useless, unproductive words and gossip would certainly fall under this description. So if we are going to have to give an account to God for how we speak of others we had better guard our mouths from speaking evil words of gossip.