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GOSSIP

RECOGNIZE GOSSIP for what it is. By definition, it is “Casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true.” It is also sin. “Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile” (Prov. 34:13). The Bible constantly condemns gossip. J.  G. Holland (1819-1881) said, “Gossip is always a personal confession of malice or imbecility, and the young should not only shun it, but by the most thorough culture relieve themselves from all temptation to it.  It is a low, frivolous, and dirty business.”

 

So, why do people gossip? Answer, because of any combination of the following: (1) they are too ignorant to know better; (2) they want to appear important, and “in the know” about things that are usually none of their business; (3) they hope to magnify themselves by misrepresenting and discrediting others; (4) they are simply mean-spirited and malicious.

 

RESPOND TO GOSSIP. Never participate in gossip, but don’t respond passively to it either. Your silence suggests agreement with it, encourages it, and can constitute the betrayal of someone.  Protest is always the proper response to gossip. Get a look on your face that will communicate, and use gracious, but plain language to communicate, how it is to you; and ask these questions: (1) “Do you know that what you are saying, or are about to say is true?” (2) “Why, whether it is true or not, are you saying what you are saying?” and (3) “What value to anyone do you think there is in saying what you are saying?”

 

RESIST GOSSIP.  Cultivate a preemptive resistance to gossip \by determining to “avoid all appearance of evil” where it’s concerned, and to “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers,” (apply this also to the communication you let "proceed" into your ears). You can “overcome evil with good” where gossip is concerned if you “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” (2 Thess. 5:22; Eph. 4:29; Col. 4:60).

 

Gossip is a particularly devilish and destructive sin; unbecoming, ugly, unfair and cruel. Nothing will put your character in question quicker with other people than your indulgence in gossip. It is a subtle sin that will slip into your life whenever, wherever and however it can. Guard against having any appearance of it in your life.

 

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