What is Gossip?
Gossip is sharing negative or sensitive information with someone about somebody else.
Why People Gossip
Gossip results when we respond to people negatively. They bring out our insecurities. In an effort to justify our feelings, we involve someone else in our frustrations.
Gossip Involves Other People in Your Frustration
When we involve other people in our frustrations it keeps things stirred up.
Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down.
It also unfairly pits people against each other.
The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts.
The words you say to someone about somebody else, sours them towards that person. It inhibits them from ever having their own positive personal relationship with that person.
Gossip Keeps You From Growing As a Person
Rather than gossiping about people, it is far better to deal with your frustrations on your own. When you don’t, it keeps you from growing as a person.
• It keeps you feeling superior.
It keeps you from going to the person you have ill feelings towards. It keeps you from confronting the issue. It allows you to use people to prop up your negative feelings about someone.
• It keeps you unforgiving.
Right or wrong we need to forgive people. We need to give people grace. Sometimes we don’t understand why people respond to us they way they do. You don’t always know the load they are carrying. If you did, you’d immediately tolerate their response to you.
One of my favorite quotes is the following:
“Be kind, for whoever you meet is fighting a hard battle!”
Sometimes we even have to forgive ourselves when we don’t respond correctly.
• It keeps you from God.
Gossip keeps us from going to God. When we don’t go to God about our frustrations, we can’t hear His inner voice and sort out the reasons for our inner conflict. God wants inner resolution for you. Only then can you effectively speak to the person you are gossiping about in a manner that is constructive. Humility leads the way.
How Non-Gossiper’s Deal With Their Frustration
• They are self-effective.
Self-effective means that they don’t have to bounce their feelings off of someone else. They know that they are “okay”, even when wrong. They understand that because of Christ, they don’t have to walk around feeling condemned. Therefore, they don’t have to fight internally.
Therefore, there is now NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
• They go to God.
They resolve their inner conflicts through prayer. They listen to the inner voice (Spirit) that God gave them when they were spiritually reborn.
We have not received the spirit of the world but the SPIRIT who is from God, that we may UNDERSTAND what God has freely given us. We have the MIND OF CHRIST.
1 Corinthians 2:12, 16
• They are tolerant of other people.
They remember that God was tolerant to them, therefore they are tolerant to others.
So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, TOLERANCE and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?
• They are willing to suffer.
They know that people are not perfect. They know that it takes time for God’s grace to do its work. They are willing to suffer, just as God suffered for us in His forbearance.
When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an EXAMPLE, that you should follow in his steps.
1 Peter 2:23, 21
• They confront problems when needed.
They speak the truth in love. They are not anxious to put people in their place. They wait on God. They try to sort out the best things to say, at the best time. They ask God to bring conviction when needed, not revenge.
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
• They don’t judge people.
They love people, they don’t judge them. They always trust, hope and persevere in their dealings with people.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always TRUSTS, always HOPES, always PERSEVERES.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Gossip is easy to do. All of us feel insecure from time to time. But gossip is inspired by Satan himself and it hurts everyone involved. Just remember that when you have an urge to gossip, DON’T. Instead, take it to God and experience the good He can do.