Romans 1:29 “They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips.”
1 Timothy 5:13 “Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also busybodies who talk nonsense, saying things they ought not to.”
Whether we admit it or not, everyone is fascinated by gossip. This fascination is why tabloids, talk shows, and reality TV are incredibly popular. People just can't get enough of the juicy details that leave us speechless. Although we love rumors and scandals that shock us, we'd never call ourselves gossips. The term seems too harsh when all we're doing is sharing the truth. To make ourselves feel better, we excuse it and justify it by saying we're “discussing our feelings,” “expressing our concerns,” or “sharing a prayer request.” But it's just gossip.
Gossip damages relationships and reputations. It spreads misinformation and hurts people. The Bible warns us against gossip because it is sinful and can have serious consequences.
1 Timothy describes gossip as meddling in other people’s business and talking about things we shouldn’t. If we're speaking about details of someone else’s life for no reason other than to talk, that’s gossip, even if we mean no harm. Gossip, no matter the situation, is wrong. We should avoid gossiping and instead speak with kindness and respect.
Today, allow God to focus your words to encourage others and not hurt them. Ask him to warn you when you get too close to that line of gossip.
Holy Spirit, place a guard around my tongue. May my words honor you and build up others. Help me to love others as you love them. In Jesus’ name. Amen.