Gossip is bad

We’re going through Proverbs with the kids in our morning Bible study. This time we hit upon gossip. Its amazing how much the kids know about others in the neighborhood – from second hand knowledge.

I was also able to give an example of gossip in church – the youth group knows all about how a young man has a “new girlfirend” (the best friend of a young woman who just passed away). They dont realize this is probably just two kids trying to comfort each other. Neither do the teens realize they were gossiping.

I’ve seen people gossip to try to manipulate others – they tell you a certain amount of information to get you to not like someone else or to get you to do something against the other person.

I’ve seen people gossip in the guise of a prayer – “please pray for sister XYZ, as she is suffering from having gone through SOME_TERRIBLE_SHAMEFUL_THING.”  While it might be “good” to pray for people (indeed, we are told to do so in Scripture), the specifics are not always necessary.

There are other people in my life who have a habit of gossiping (yes, you know who you are).

A lady I know said its often a case where people want to appear to be knowledgable – and its really bad among girls/women (although men do it as well). Sometimes people gossip maliciously, but I dont think that’s usually the case. I think she is right, and becuase of the desire to appear as if they are knowledgable, people share information that might or might not be true and that might or might not be private and/or priviledged information.

Another point the lady made: if someone is gossiping to YOU about someone else, then its highly likely they are gossiping ABOUT you to someone else.

But take a look at what God said about gossping:

We are not to hang out with a gossip.

Proverbs 20:19

He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets,Therefore do not associate with a gossip.

God puts it on the same level of sin as murder.

Romans 1:28-32

28And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,  29being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips30slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

Gossip is often found where there is strife, jealousy, anger, disputes, slanders, arrogance, and disturbances. It leads to bad feelings and confusion.

2 Corinthians 12:20

20For I am afraid that perhaps when I come I may find you to be not what I wish and may be found by you to be not what you wish; that perhaps there will be strife, jealousy, angry tempers, disputes, slanders, gossip, arrogance, disturbances; 21I am afraid that when I come again my God may humiliate me before you, and I may mourn over many of those who have sinned in the past and not repented of the impurity, immorality and sensuality which they have practiced.

Women (in context, this is either the wife of a deacon or a deaconess – but applies to all) are to be dignified, temperate, and faithful – NOT gossips.

1 Timothy 3:11

Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things.

Widows are not to be gossips either.

1 Timothy 5:13

At the same time they also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention.

In the last days, people will become malicious gossips – it will become much more common than it was then.

2 Timothy 3:3

2For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.

Gossiping is NOT being reverent, and women should not do it.

Titus 2:3

2Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance.  3Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, 4so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.

So yes, gossip is a bad thing. God said dont do it. If you get caught up in the grasp of someone who is gossiping, put a stop to it. Remind them God said to not gossip and you do not want to be part of it. Separate from them if necessary. But dont gossip and dont be a party to gossip.

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