What Is Gossip?
Whether we admit it or not, we have a fascination with gossip. This fascination is why talk shows and grocery store tabloids are so popular. We just can't get enough of the juicy details that leave our mouth hanging wide open with shock. Even though we like gossip, we hardly ever call ourselves gossipers. In fact, we don’t really even like to use the word gossip. It’s such a strong word when all we are doing is sharing the “truth.” To make us feel better, we disguise our gossip by saying that we are “discussing our feelings,” “sharing our concerns” or “giving a prayer request” but if we were to be really truthful, we are gossiping. We can excuse it and try to justify why we are doing it, but it’s still gossip. Webster’s dictionary defines gossip as “casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people.”
1 Timothy 5:13 describes gossip as “meddling in other people’s business and talking about things they shouldn’t.” So, when we talk about the details of someone’s life to another person, for no reason other than to talk about them, we are gossiping. Even if no harm is meant, it’s the confirmed truth, or even if someone is being plain idiotic, it is still gossip. And it’s wrong. Romans 1:29 even calls it wicked! Ouch!
When we step back and think about how we are revealing embarrassing and shameful details about other people’s lives, details that do nothing but damage their reputation, we can see how gossip is wicked. Gossip is never uplifting or encouraging, and we must realize that gossip, no matter what the situation, is wrong.
Over the next few days, start asking God to put a deep love for people into your life. Allow Him to burden your heart for how your words can either hurt or encourage those around you. Ask Him to warn you when you get too close to that line of gossip.