Thursday, January 26, 2012
Christian View on Gossip
A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much.
When I was in junior high school while in class one day; our teacher, Mrs. Lobo, stood before us and said I want to tell you a secret. I will share it with the first person who will pass my secret on to the next person and so on until everyone in the room has heard this "secret". There were around 30 students in my class that day if I recall correctly. I was in the first row towards the back. I think I was the 5th person to hear Mrs. Lobo's "secret".
The secret I heard was: "I am attending a wedding this weekend. I will be a part of it as a maid of honor". The secret "spread" around the class with each person turning around in their desk to whisper it into the ear of the person behind them. Before long it had "spread" to all 30 odd students.
At the end of this lesson of sorts or activity; Mrs. Lobo asked the last student to stand and say what they had heard. The "secret" by then had become "Mrs. Lobo is pregnant and will have a baby in 6 months!"
After we had a good laugh Mrs. Lobo then said my "secret" was: "My sister is getting married Saturday, my family from Mexico is coming down for the event".
Can you imagine if this was not a game and people were actually spreading rumors about you? The above was an exercise to show the power of the brain and how we interpret information. If a person were inclined to interpret information in a negative way and spread the information it could do a lot of damage. It can cost people relationships. It can cause problems at work. It has cost careers. It also can cause health problems as well for people who suffer as a result with the outcome being depression and anxiety. In general spreading gossip about others can do more harm than good.
Gossip in and of itself is something that is not favored by the Lord, We read in Matthew 15:19: “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders." Here The Lord equates it with serious sins like murder. In Proverbs we read "The one who guards his mouth preserves his life; The one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin" (Proverbs 13:3) which shows that by watching your words and actions you breathe life into a situation and not more problems.
In 1 Timothy 5:13 we read "And with they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not." which shows that gossip comes more out of idle time and minds than anything and that by spreading rumors you are doing something that you shouldn't be doing.
The word of God is clear on this subject. As Christians we should pay heed to try not to fall victim to this ages old practice. It is human nature to want to share news of loved ones and wonderful friends. But when it crosses a clear boundary of openly talking about a person's life then passing this information on you are doing more damage than good. That's when it becomes a non Godly practice.
The Bible says our words amongst each other should be supportive. Filled with breathing life and love into each other. Upbuilding and exhorting each other daily.
Hebrews 3:13: "But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin."
John 13:34-35 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Proverbs 18:21)
“There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health.(Proverbs 12:18)
As believers in Christ we can daily use our words to heal others and provide solace. strength and comfort. Each of us I am sure can recall a moment when we were struggling with something and a kind word did wonders to help us feel better and stronger. The tongue is small yet it holds much more power than any of our other body members. That power can be either for good or bad. Today let's choose for it to wield edifying power and not the power to hurt or devastate someone's life.
“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.” (Proverbs 15:1)