When you are in leadership at a church (or any other organization) you quickly realize that gossip is probably the single greatest destroyer of people and progress. The irony is that, at least in a church setting, rarely are the gossip mongers non-Christians or new Christians. Typically it is those that have been Christ followers for a few years. That being said, I think every person in every stage of life, struggles with this area in some way and it seems that our culture of tabloid exploits fans the flame making so many people believe they are entitled to know every juicy detail and that they have the right to tell as many people as possible. Sometimes you’re a gossip and you don’t care…in fact you’re proud of it, while other times your gossip and have no idea the damage your doing.
Don’t know if your a gossip…well see what applies to you below.
You might be a gossip if….
People come to you for information instead of the people who are actually involved with their question.
You feel the need to know everything about every situation.
You vent to anyone who will listen about your issues with individuals or organizations.
Say that you want to help yet proclaim your constant dissatisfaction of things not being the way you want them to be.
You spend more time talking about your friends, leaders, and family rather than praying for them and encouraging them.
You are passive aggressive.
People pull away or stop telling you things.
Nothing is your fault – it’s everyone else.
Scripture is far from silent on this issue.
Proverbs 16:28 – A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends.
Proverbs 11:13 – A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.
James 3: 5-6″Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue is also a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”
1 Timothy 5:13 At the same time they also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention.
Leviticus 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.”
So where does that leave us exactly? Well, to be honest if your not a Christ follower you should know that when you gossip/slander you are doing irrevocable damage to people, relationships, and organizations. If you are a Christ follower. Shut your mouth. You should know better. Your not helping anyone but yourself as you deal with your own insecurities. Furthermore, you are acting as a destroyer of unity – completely mutilating the body of Christ with your words and actions.
I stuggle with this as much as the next guy (or girl) but the truth remains – we have to do better. Is this a soapbox? I will claim that, yes. Honestly, the Kingdom of God is far too important to not think before we speak.