The Folly of Gossip
“With his mouth the godless destroys his neighbor” -Prov. 11:9
I just feel this is a necessary hub for me to write. I know someone who still loves gossiping about me, and i am just praying she gets over it. She thinks she's destroying me, but she has to realize, every harsh word she throws my way is some kind of 'boomerang', reflecting more on her character than mine.
I used to get all worked up about gossip, feeling the hurt, getting angry and many times going into depression. I was raised in a very conservative home, (with four brothers to watch my every move), and believe it or not, as straight laced as i was, it shocked me to experience people's capacity to be nasty and concoct malicious lies, right ouf of nowhere. I was in high school when this maligning began to happen to naive little me. Would you believe that I had been 'de-virginized', even before i had a boyfriend and before i even got kissed! But, this is probably true for many of us, and not unique to me. Still, it's hard to fathom that people you know, friends, and sadly "family" can gossip to your destruction.
But, as i got older, i got better at dealing with these dumb busybodies. I learned not to care, nor pay attention for surely, it was a waste of time and a distraction from the things that were far more important in my life. I learned that one way to silence them was to ignore them. It worked with some, but, others were more tenacious and perverted.
Why do people gossip?
People gossip because they are petty. They have no life going for them, and it makes them feel better about themselves.
It makes them feel superior. People with low self esteem think they will feel better if someone were worse off than they are. They make up a rumor that puts people down.
Some gossip to feel they are part of the 'in group'. To be “in on the secret,” is to be in the group.
They lack and need attention. When you have a secret that nobody knows, or are the first person in your group to hear a rumor, it makes you the center of attention.
Certain people always want to be in control or be at the top. When people are at the top of the popularity scale, or are determined to climb higher, one way is by reducing the “status” of another person.
Sheer jealousy or a need for revenge. If you’re jealous of someone’s looks, popularity, or money, you gossip in order to hurt the person.
Boredom. Study shows, this is the #1 reason why people spread rumors? To get rid of life's dullness, they will spread juicy rumors to shake things up, and even get people to fight
The Real Deal About Gossip
Gossip is considered one of the most dangerous sins because it is so subtle and ambiguous. Some are unable to recognize it. Gossip exists when persons “talk about others” in an unfavorable way, and with lies. The root of gossip is negativeness, judgementalism and slander. "A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much” (Prov. 20:19). Remember the old saying: “If you can’t say something good about others, don’t say anything at all.”
“Gossip” is derived from the idea of “whispering.” It means “to indulge in idle talk or rumors about others; spreading of sensational stories.” Gossip is a close cousin to slander, and God’s Word places both in the same cupboard as murder and other wickedness -- sins worthy of death.
A busybody is another close relative to gossip -- a person who meddles in the affairs of others. They are persons who have too much time on their hands, with nothing better to do than to talk too much. “ they have the habit of going from house to house, gossipping and saying things they ought not to” (1 Tim. 5:13).
Gossip is more than a little bad habit, it is wicked and sinful, a seething disease of corruption from the mouth. Their mouths are weapons -- aimed at people to fulfill the enemies desire to “steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10). Gossip is an enemy to God and everything called holy. Apostle Paul placed a gossip in the same league with murderers and sexual deviates. Jesus also warned that for those who would offend his little ones, it would be better for them to be bound with a millstone and drowned in the sea (Mark 9:42).
If you gossip, repent. If you are a friend to a gossip, correct them with love. If you can't, and they want your 'ears' so they can continue in their wicked ways, stay away from them.
Let the scripture guide you...
I. Backbiting is forbidden by God.
1 Timothy 3: 11
James 4: 11
A. Those who spread slander cannot dwell with God, for He is holy.
B. God calls them fools.
II. We are exhorted to "lay aside" all slander, and scripture advises us not even to associate with gossips.
1 Peter 2:1
A. The tales of a gossip travel fast.
B. The words of a slanderer spread strife and contention; they
destroy friendships and stir up anger.
Proverbs 6:19; 15:1; 16:28; 17:9; 25:23; 26:20-22
C. The desire to backbite comes from a heart of bitterness and hatred.
"Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking,
be put away from you, with all malice ..." Ephesians 4:31