I am a recovering gossip. I loved being the person with the latest and greatest news. I loved being the person who had the breaking and up-to-date information. It was a great bonding tool or so I thought. Yep, I was the person at the water cooler. I mean, how serious is gossip anyways – I didn’t generally do it to be malicious; I just liked being the person who knew everything that was going on. Turns out gossip is a much bigger deal than I ever thought.
I was listening to my pastor preach about gossip yesterday and the message was one of those that had me cheering and squirming. I was cheering because the message was true and powerful. I was squirming because the Holy Spirit was letting me know I had unconfessed sin in this area. Apparently my idea of bonding or just “sharing information” was actually sowing seeds of discord in many cases.
How exactly does gossip sow seeds of discord?
- It divides people
- It promotes negativity
- It creates an environment of secrecy
I didn’t realize how much gossip divides people. For me, it seemed to unite me with people and to some degree that’s true. Mary and I might bond over the news that Jane’s husband is leaving her but it divides us against Jane. If I am sharing the latest news that Jane’s husband left her because she was having an affair, people will judge Jane based on that information and may end up avoiding her for various reasons. That’s not good but it’s even worse if the information I shared wasn’t accurate. Maybe Jane was person cheated and really needs her friends but we’re too busy judging her to be there for her. Maybe you’re not making the information up and are only repeating what you hear but you’re contributing to the problem and Satan is dancing for joy.
Gossiping promotes negativity and sows seeds of discord and animosity. Gossip isn’t generally good news being spread but bad news. Our sinful self likes hearing that people have messed up or that “karma” has finally struck. It’s almost like bad news about someone else makes us go up a step. It doesn’t. This is a tool Satan uses to split us and pit us against each other. It makes those who spread gossip untrustworthy, because if we’re sharing Jane, Bob, Mary, and Bill’s news, then who says we aren’t sharing tidbits about your life too?
Gossiping creates an environment of secrecy and darkness. Instead of talking to people, we talk about them. Instead of bringing issues to light, we whisper them in darkness. We learn to hide from the truth and instead spread half-truths. We discuss things that don’t pertain to us and further more, don’t impact us, so why are we so eager to share gossip? Why do we gleefully grab the headlines screaming about Kim Kardashian’s latest scandal? Our sinful nature likes the gossip; it fuels something within us and Satan tries to keep that flame burning.
Proverbs 20:19 warns us about gossipers (labeled here as a babbler): “Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with a simple babbler.” Whoa. The Bible says gossip is so bad that we should not associate with these people. Please take this seriously and stop sowing the seeds of discord. United we stand; divided we fall.
Here are some tips that can help you change:
Pay attention to your words and if you notice that you’re gossiping, stop and ask God to guide you.
Pray this prayer: “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the doors of my lips.” – Psalm 141:3
Join me and become a recovering gossip. As always, we love hearing from you so if you have any other insight or tips please leave a comment. Have a wonderful day! ❤