“But I tell you that men will have to give account on the Day of Judgment for every careless word they have spoken.” “With his mouth the godless man destroys his neighbor….” (Matthew 12:36; Prov. 11:9)
We live in a society – both Christian and non-Christian – obsessed with a desire “to know the inside scoop.” Pastor, Greg Laurie, once said in a sermon, “The old saying goes, ‘Good news travels fast.’ I submit to you that bad news travels faster….[in fact], ‘A lie is half-way around the world while the truth is still putting its shoes on.”
The running joke among churches is that Christians don’t gossip – they share “prayer requests.”
Read Romans 1:28-31, and you’ll find “gossip” included in a list of sins that includes murder.
So, although it may not show up in our “bad sin list,” it shows up in God’s.
In addition, in the somewhat-familiar “Six things the Lord hates” passage in Proverb 6:16-19, four of the six, by implication, are related to the sin of gossip.
In the late 1980’s, the Gaither Vocal Band sang a song called, “The Rumormill.” Here’s an excerpt:
“The people that work there are all volunteers; The only qualification is a mouth and two big ears. If a story’s not clear enough, that’s okay! They’ll just doctor it up and then send it on its way. It doesn’t matter who’s involved or who it’s gonna hurt, As long as folks are listenin’ they’ll keep shovelin’ dirt at…The Rumormill.”
Don’t be fooled: a person who will gossip to you will also gossip about you. Paul warned Timothy, “Avoid godless chatter [GR: empty, fruitless discussion], because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. (2 Tim. 2:16-17a, 23)
I don’t know the author of the following poem. But, it bears sharing here.
“My Name is Gossip”
I have no respect for justice, I maim without killing;
I break hearts and I ruin lives;
I am cunning and malicious and I gather strength with age;
The more I am quoted the more I am believed;
My victims are helpless;
They cannot protect themselves against me because I have no name or face;
Tracking me down is impossible; The harder you try the more elusive I become;
I am nobody’s friend; Once I tarnish a reputation it is never the same;
I wreck marriages and I topple governments;
I ruin careers and I cause sleepless nights, heartaches, and indigestion;
I make innocent people cry on their pillows;
I make headlines….and headaches;
Even my name hisses….my name is Gossip.
Soli Deo Gloria, Nick