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. 4:29
“Do you know what else she said?”
I cringed. A textbook example of gossip, but what was I supposed to say to stop it?
We all love a ‘juicy story’, and I can think of many times where I let my mouth get carried away, and said things that I wish I wouldn’t have. There’s also been lots of times where I enjoyed the gossip too much to say anything about it.
But I’ve also seen the effects that gossip has on lives, and I’m positive that it is something that as Christians ,we need to learn self control in.
There are three types of gossip I want to discuss briefly…
You want your friend to think badly about someone you don’t like, so you lie in order to accomplish that. Simply put, it’s slander. Defaming someone, putting them down, maligning…
A rumor is passing on stories that may or may not be true. Next time you are tempted to
tell an ‘interesting’ story about someone, first think: is it simply hearsay? Would it
embarrass the person it’s about? Is it profitable?
This one is pretty obvious… you say mean things about someone behind their back. If you have ever been talked about behind your back, you know this is very hurtful…
I also want to talk about one more area that we need to be careful in….
It is wonderful to pray for each other, and we should never stop. But sharing something that was told to you confidence should never be shared (there are very few exceptions to this) . Sharing things that you ‘think’ people might need prayer for can be so detrimental too, as it will shape everyone else’s view of them, and who knows, details might get added or taken away as the story goes down the line.
What are some ways to stop gossip?
Say something positive about the person being talked about.
Gently explain that if they have a problem with so and so, maybe they should talk to them about it.
Be careful about what you say. Think before speaking.
Let’s be careful with our speech, and be like Christ in all areas! Words are powerful. Use them to build up, and not tear down!
A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.Prov.11:13