What is gossip? It is shared information about another person or persons that could, if repeated and spread, may result in the destruction of such person or persons.
So why do we gossip? If you really dissect the reasons, there is absolutely no valid or productive one for gossiping. The tongue is the most dangerous part of our bodies. It could make or break people in the eyes of others. Proverbs 18:8 states that gossip is so tasty and how we love to swallow it. What is it about smearing another person's reputation that is so enticing to a gossip? Is it that the subject has something they are jealous about or maybe to simply be vindictive? It has been known that people who spread gossip my be so dissatisfied with their own lives that they needlessly create a smokescreen for their own insecurities by diverting the negative attention to another. The Bible also instructs us not to associate with slanderers (Proverbs 26:20). But yet, we continue to do so as if there is an exciting affect that is stirred up in us knowing that someone else is going through some kind of chaos in their lives.
Then there are the ones who listen to them. There is no difference between the two if the listener spreads it further. It would be better for him/her to just listen to the gossip, pray for both the gossip and the subject of it then not repeating it to anyone else and take it with them to their grave. If the gossip is repeated, the repeater is looked upon just as vilified as the person who started the rumor. It is very difficult to keep gossip to ourselves. The Bible says that it is easier for a woman in labor not to give birth than a fool not to repeat gossip.
I have observed some people gossip about others simply to avoid revealing their own character to the other. It is a sort of a transparent brick wall, if you will.
So what would be the best way to divert an unavoidable circumstance of gossip? Do you have the wherewithal to take it to the grave with you? Personally, if I know the person fairly well, I would be frank enough to make them aware that they are gossiping and suggest that instead of gossiping, pray for that person. There is no way we could ever know if the subject of the gossip is hurting and how much they are hurting. Next, I would own the responsibility of not repeating the information to anyone else. Remember, whomever the information came from, whether it was straight from the source or associated to the source, it was told to that person in confidence. Not only is it pleasing to God's eyes to do this, but also a great way to stay out of trouble and gain the trust of the circles you belong in.
This is my two cents. Until my next rant…. LOVE ONE ANOTHER!!
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