Gossip draws us in. It is quickly told, heard, spread and, worst of all, quickly believed. Proverbs warns us that gossip sinks its teeth into our hearts and minds and begins to hurts us, along with those around us. Unfortunately, we have made gossip a part of our everyday entertainment.
Overtime, gossip becomes a habit that is unconsciously repeated on a regular basis. It becomes so disguised that we don’t even recognize it, nor do we see the destructive spiritual, emotional, and relational wake it leaves behind. Part of that wake involves a person’s reputation.
Gossip, no matter how innocent, will affect how others view the person being gossiped about. Labels will be placed on the person and their character will be tarnished. Gossip leaves no room for someone to derive their own perception of a person based on time and relationship. This is especially true if you are in a leadership position. People want to please and trust you and what you say will usually become truth and be repeated. Gossip doesn’t only affect the person being gossiped about, it affects the person listening. The ones listening are now tempted to label and to pass the gossip on. It also tempts the listener to crave more gossip. All gossip plants a seed in our mind.
The next time you hear a negative thing about that person, the seed grows, and your view of that person is even more distorted. Don’t fool yourself into believing that gossip doesn’t affect you. Gossip also affects the gossiper. When someone gossips, they open their heart up for Satan to grab ahold and harden their heart to the truth and to stop them from living a life of freedom. They are relying on gossip to make them feel good instead of God’s truth. Lastly, gossip not only damages individual people, it damages relationships.
Not many friendships can endure gossip. When gossip is involved, trust is broken. When push comes to shove, we don’t know if we can trust them to not gossip about us. Gossip infects everyone’s hearts, bringing everyone involved to a place where trust is broken and truth is obscured. Gossip affects the core of who we are and the filter through which we see others. We have to stop gossip before it draws us in and becomes our truth. We have to stop it before it ruins lives and relationships
Troublemakers start fights; gossips break up friendships.
Proverbs 16:28 MSG
Listening to gossip is like eating cheap candy; do you really want junk like that in your belly?
A bit in the mouth of a horse controls the whole horse. A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds. A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it! It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell. This is scary: You can tame a tiger, but you can’t tame a tongue—it’s never been done. The tongue runs wild, a wanton killer. With our tongues we bless God our Father; with the same tongues we curse the very men and women he made in his image. Curses and blessings out of the same mouth! My friends, this can’t go on. A spring doesn’t gush fresh water one day and brackish the next, does it? Apple trees don’t bear strawberries, do they? Raspberry bushes don’t bear apples, do they? You’re not going to dip into a polluted mud hole and get a cup of clear, cool water, are you?
James 3:3-5, 5-10, 10-12 MSG
So beware of gossip. It can be dangerous and destructive and very easy to get tangled up in.
If this has spoken to you, check out the full devotional on gossip on YouVersion bible app.