by Lacey MacRae
Surprisingly, the word “gossip” is not actually in the Bible, but the concept definitely is! There are three words the Bible uses to refer to someone who is a gossip:
-talebearer: one who communicates secrets maliciously
-backbiter: one who slanders or speaks ill of the absent
-whisperer: a slanderer or talebearer
There is no doubt that all of us have been on both ends of gossip. We have all been gossiped about and unfortunately we have all gossiped. At the very least, we have shared a “prayer request” under the guise of “bless her heart” intentions. The Bible is very clear that gossip is wrong; as is true in all sin, gossip is hurtful, destructive, and deadly!
What Gossip Does to Me
- Gossip complicates my life and causes strife and stress, also known as drama! Proverbs 26:20 – “Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.”
2. Gossip tarnishes my name and keeps people from trusting me.
Proverbs 11:13 – “A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.”
Faithful here means trusted!
What Gossip Does to Others
- Gossip causes deep inner wounds.
Proverbs 26:22 – “The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.”
- Gossip separates and divides people.
Proverbs 16:28 – “A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.”
All of these effects of gossip on us as well as on others are reasons enough to stay as far away from it as possible. However, none of these are the WORST thing about gossip.
In Psalm 15:1 David asks the Lord, “Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?” In other words, David is asking, “Lord, who can constantly live right next to You? Who can live in close and intimate fellowship with You?”
The answer to those questions is found in verses 2-5 as God describes the kind of person that can have this close and personal relationship with Him. One of the descriptions God gives is as follows: “He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.”
The very worst thing that gossip does is not what it does to me or to others. The very worst thing that gossip does is what it does to me and to God.
Gossip hinders me from having close and intimate fellowship with the Lord.
It keeps me from reaching that sacred and holy hill of the Lord. It keeps me from constantly abiding in the tabernacle of His presence. How can I expect to experience sweet and intimate fellowship with the Lord when I am slandering His other children? I think James summed it up pretty clearly:
James 3:8-10 – “But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.”