Let’s be real: you’ve gossipped before right? You won’t readily admit it, but it’s probably true.
In fact, I’ve gossipped before – and I’m not proud of it. Quite frankly, it’s a shame. It’s nasty. It’s hurtful.
It may not be murder or robbery, but it’s still sin. It’s wrong. The reality is we can “murder” or “kill” someone’s reputation with gossip. We can “rob” someone of their peace when we disturb their spirit because of what is being said. Proverbs 26 verse 20 says, “Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.” Whether the information is true or false, why be the wood that enables the fire? If the person were present, would you still share that information?
Look, you have probably heard what someone has said about you right? Didn’t it hurt or disappoint you? Have you not done the same at some point over WhatsApp or while meeting up with your friend at Starbucks or on the phone? Even Christians sometimes get caught up in gossip while sharing and asking another Christian to pray about a matter. Beware believers!
We preface the gossip with:
“I understand that…”
“I heard that…”
“My friend (name), is going through the same thing. The only difference with her is…”
If someone has shared something personal with us or we are aware of a matter – whether a married man has children with other women, a woman wears the pants in the relationship, a couple has been trying for years to conceive, your colleague’s nephew died of AIDS or the next door neighbour’s godson got caught stealing from his workplace – is that our business? Does it concern you? How is the information being shared helping the situation?
Think: Is what you’re saying edifying or fueling the rumour mill? What if it were you or your family member being discussed? How would you feel? Proverbs 25 verse 9 encourages us to, “…discover not a secret to another.” And remember, he who gossips with you, will gossip about you! Why not choose to uninstall your internal gossip app?!
Here are FOUR practical tips to stop gossip in its track:
1) Switch on the gossiper and find something positive about the person or situation to say. Turn the tables.
2) Be bold and say, “Honestly, that’s her/his business. Let’s leave it alone.”
3) If you are in a group and gossipping is occurring, literally remove yourself with an “Excuse me. I have to leave.” And if for some reason, it’s impractical, simply do not join in the conversation. If someone pushes you by asking a question, simply say, “I’m staying out of it” or “It aine my business.”
4) Turn the gossip into an opportunity to pray. Encourage the person gossipping to pray about it and remind them that God is able to turn the situation around.
Today, let us pledge to do better regarding gossiping:
I pledge to mind my own business.
Growing in Christ,