What is Gossip?
Gossip is not only of making statements that are not based on concrete facts, speculating in relation to the lives of others, but also of disclosing true facts of other people's lives without their consent, regardless of the intention of defamation or a simple comment without evil ends.
What does the Bible say about gossip?
- The word gossip does not appear in the Bible. However, several synonyms of it appear. For example, in Leviticus 19:16 the Bible tells us: "You shall not go up and down as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand forth against the life of your neighbor: I am the LORD". Note that "gossip" or "slander" is pointed out here as something that threatens the lives of others, hence the order not to be gossip. The Bible also speaks of the "words of a whisperer" (Proverbs 18:8) and a whisperer (Proverbs 16:28). All of these words point to gossip.
- In addition, we have noted in several texts, serious warnings about spreading people's gossip. In Proverbs 6:16 and 19 God says that he abhors such an act: "There are six things which the LORD hates, seven which are an abomination to him ... a lying tongue ... a false witness who breathes out lies, and a man who sows discord among brothers. This clearly demonstrates what the Bible teaches about gossip, that is, the Bible always lists it as bad, as unacceptable behavior.
The dangers of gossip
- Another very important Biblical fact is that the Bible tells us that our language is dangerous. The text of James 3:6 shows us how dangerous the tongue is: "And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is an unrighteous world among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the cycle of nature, and set on fire by hell." This is a strong text that shows that a language controlled by the desire for gossip, backbiting and other sins of the language, has great power to destroy not only the person himself, but also others.
- The servant of God is encouraged in the Bible to control his/her lips, to resist the desire to gossip about the lives of others. Rather, he/she is encouraged to use the words to bless: "When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is prudent" (Proverbs 10:19). This shows that if we talk a lot and without thinking, we run the risk of sinning a lot more. What does the Bible teach about gossip? This text sums it up very well: "He who goes about as a talebearer (gossip) reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing hidden." (Proverbs 11:13 - my addition in parentheses).
Cannot we make comments and judgments about the next one?
- The Bible does not prohibit us from making comments and analyzing issues that involve other people. We will often have to do this in our family, work, studies, church, etc., in order to position ourselves on issues that involve other people. But we must be wise not to be propagators of lies and additions about facts that involve others.
And we still have to be very careful not to be propagators of facts (even if they are true), but that does not edify. Our attitude must always be to preserve the honor of others and to block any information that does not contribute to the edification. Jesus commanded us to judge things based on right righteousness: "Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment" (John 7:24). This means that we should not do with others what we would not like to be done with us. We must be correct and honest and in order to be like that, gossip should not take place in our lives.
- So, now knowing what the Bible teaches about gossip, when one appears before us, we must be wise and reject it. Whether it is born within us and creates a strong desire to propagate it, or when it comes from other people with the desire that we also know and also propagate. Do not gossip. And if you know about gossip, do not be a propagating agent for it.
God bless you!
Text Gossip in the Bible
You shall not utter a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man, to be a malicious witness.
He who walks blamelessly, and does what is right, and speaks truth from his heart; who does not slander with his tongue, and does no evil to his friend, nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor.
Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit.
He who conceals hatred has lying lips, and he who utters slander is a fool.
Proverbs 11:9, 13
With his mouth the godless man would destroy his neighbor, but by knowledge the righteous are delivered.
He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing hidden.
He who guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
A perverse man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.
For lack of wood the fire goes out; and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.
Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
Therefore you have no excuse, O man, whoever you are, when you judge another; for in passing judgment upon him you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are doing the very same things.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor sexual perverts, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God.
Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for edifying, as fits the occasion, that it may impart grace to those who hear.
1 Thessalonians 4:11
To aspire to live quietly, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we charged you.
2 Timothy 2:16
Avoid such godless chatter, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness.
If any one thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this man's religion is vain.