The Evils of Gossip

Posted: April 13, 2012 by rickyroldan in Topical
Tags: , , ,

One of the things that brings disharmony to families and friendships and that can destroy any church or ministry is gossip. Other terms in the Bible for gossip include: backbiter, busybody, slanderer, secrets, talebearer and whisperers. The Hebrew word for “gossip” in the Old Testament is “Rakiyl” and is defined as “one who reveals secrets, one who goes about as a talebearer or scandal-monger”. A gossiper is a person who has privileged information and engages in revealing that information to people who have no business knowing such and or makes up blatant lies about another person or exaggerates. The intent of a gossiper is to make themselves feel better while making other look bad and boast about being some kind of saint. Gossipers speak of the failings and faults of others or reveal embarrassing and or shameful details in regards to other peoples lives without their knowledge or approval, even if they don’t mean to cause harm nevertheless it is still gossip.

The Word of God tells us in Proverbs that ” A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.” (Prov. 16:28)

Many upon many families and friendships have been ruined over a misunderstanding that started with gossip. Those who proceed to engage in this malicious behavior only serve to bring conflict and stir up trouble that cause anger, bitterness, and pain among friends and family. Unfortunately and sadly, some people thrive on this and look for opportunities to destroy others and when confronted about it they either attempt to deny that they have spread gossip or attempt to justify their gossip spreading with even more gossip and slander. Rather than admitting their sin, they blame someone else or would want to minimize the seriousness of their sin of gossip.

“Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.” (Prov. 21:23)

Therefore, we must be sure to guard our tongues and refrain from the sinful act of gossip. I pray that we all may follow God’s Word and its example and keep our mouths tamed and closed unless it is necessary and appropriate to speak on the issue. Consider the following passages for your meditation on this matter:

Lev. 19:16 “‘Do not go about spreading slander among your people. “‘Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life. I am the LORD.”

Pslm 34:13 “keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.”

Pslm 101:5 “Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret, him will I put to silence;whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, him will I not endure.”

Prov. 6:19 “a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.”

Prov. 10:18 “He who conceals his hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool.”

Prov. 11:9 “With his mouth the godless destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge the righteous escape.”

Prov. 11:13 “A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.”

Prov. 16:28 “A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends.”

Prov. 17:9 “He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.”

Prov. 18:8 “The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts.”

Prov. 20:19 “A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much.”

Prov. 26:20 “Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down.”

Ecc. 10:11 “If a snake bites before it is charmed, there is no profit for the charmer.”

Matt. 12:36 “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.”

Eph. 4:29 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

Eph. 4:31 “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.”

2 Thes. 3:11 “We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies.”

1 Tim. 3:11 “In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.”

1 Tim. 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 gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to.”

Tit. 2:3 “Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.”

Tit. 3:1,2 “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.”

Jam. 4:11 “Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.”

1 Pet. 2:1 “Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.”

1 Pet. 3:10 “For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech.

Matthew Henry on the sin of gossip:

“It is required of us that we be tender of the good name of our brethren; where we cannot speak well, we had better say nothing than speak evil; we must not take pleasure in making known the faults of others, divulging things that are secret, merely to expose them, nor in making more of their known faults than really they deserve, and, least of all, in making false stories, and spreading things concerning them of which they are altogether innocent. What is this but to raise the hatred and encourage the persecutions of the world, against those who are engaged in the same interests with ourselves, and therefore with whom we ourselves must stand or fall? Consider you are brethren.”

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