Life is better without gossip.
This was the topic for last Sunday’s sermon at my church, New Heights. It is so very hard to distance myself from this in the fast paced world we live in. Gossip can be like a craving and we feel like we want it because, in a way, it’s entertaining. I am so very guilty of this and through this sermon, God made things very cut and dry for me.
Gossip is a sin. (this should stop me in my tracks)
Gossip is defined as:
- “Idle talk or rumor, about personal or private affairs of others.”
- “Talk about a person showing them in a less than positive light.”
Gossip generally has 5 participants:
1. The gossiper.
2. The listener.
3. The observer.
4. The subject of the gossip.
Gossip not only hurts the subject, but it ends up hurting the gossiper more. It sows a seed of bitterness within the gossiper. Proverbs 26:20 says, “Where there is no fuel a fire goes out; where there is no gossip arguments come to an end.” If we keep the gossip going, then we never are truly finished with the person/problem we are talking about. It just fuels our fire more and more until our issue is even bigger than before.
We need to ask ourselves three key questions when we feel that gossiping is the answer to our problems:
1. Why am I talking about this?
- Am I trying to problem solve or am I just wanting to justify my actions to selfishly feel better about myself?
2. Why am I saying it?
- Am I just gossiping to put someone down to hurt them or am I trying to get counseling on an issue?
3. Who is hearing it?
- The listener is just as a part of gossiping as the gossiper. So I need to think about who I am including. Do they sincerely want to help me, or are they adding fuel to my fire?
I will admit that I feel better and somewhat happier after a good gossip at times. Maybe it’s a facade over the root of my problem… but in the moment it feels right. I need to recognize what my actions are and start blatantly thinking about how God wants me to react to situations. He wants me to vent in a safe environment about necessary issues, but He does not want me to gossip just for the fact of showing others in a less than positive light. I need to remember to always LOVE GOD & LOVE OTHERS. If I’m gossiping, I can do neither.