God hates slander (Proverbs 6:16, 19). It is evil. That’s why Paul lists it as a behavior of those who hate God (Romans 1:30) and why James calls it demonic behavior (James 3:15–16). Slander occurs whenever someone says something untrue about someone else that results, intentionally or unintentionally, in damaging that someone else’s reputation. And when it occurs, it becomes a divisive, discouraging, and confusing weight that often affects numerous people — sometimes many, many people. Because of its poisonous power, it is one of the adversary’s chief strategies to divide relationships and deter and derail the mission of the church. We must be on our guard against this closely clinging sin and frequently lay it aside (Hebrews 12:1).
Gossip is not good. We all know that, BUT do you still help is spreading gossips? Here are five reasons why you must stop doing that:
1. GOSSIP IS ABSURD
A worthless man digs up evil, While his words are like scorching fire. – Proverbs 16:27
Most people want to find purpose in life or meaning in everything that they do. We want to spend our life with meaning or purpose, but why do we still spend a lot of our time in issues or thoughts that are pointless?
Most people get bored when we start talking about deeper issues yet we find it entertaining to talk about celebrities or the people around us. Even if you say it’s just a small detail, but it actually speaks about you and what matters most for you.
You want to live a life that has a purpose and do things that are important, but you still spend time talking about other people? It doesn’t make sense.
2. GOSSIPING IS SINNING
Your tongue devises destruction, like a sharp razor, O worker of deceit. – Psalm 52:2
Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh (Luke 6:45). If your heart is full of evil, your speech will also be full of hatred. The letters of Apostle Paul are full of instructions not to spread gossips and to turn away from such behavior.
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. – Ephesians 4:29
Even in the old Testaments, God has instructed His people not to spread gossips:
‘Do not go about spreading slander among your people. “ ‘Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life. I am the LORD. – Leviticus 19:16
Proverbs are also full of warnings for slanderers and fools who cannot tame their tongue. Gossipers are even called ‘godless‘, and we all know that godless people are hated by God. Apart from Christ’s atonement, we cannot stand righteous in His eyes.
“With their mouths the godless destroy their neighbors, but through knowledge the righteous escape.” – Proverbs 11:9
3. GOSSIPING WILL BE THE REASON WHY PEOPLE WON’T TRUST YOU
A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends. – Proverbs 16:28
A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much. – Proverbs 20:19
A truthful witness saves lives, But he who utters lies is treacherous. – Proverbs 14:25
The Bible is actually full of warnings about people who spread gossips and all kinds of lies. For sure it has been written for a purpose.
Think about it. If a friend of yours is so known to be someone who shares a lot about the whereabouts of other people and end up destroying them with the information they give, can you still trust that person? Of course not.
Since you saw how that person betrayed others, I know deep inside you will have reservations when it comes in sharing your secrets to him/her. Because for sure you will not be an exception and whatever assurance he/she gives that it will be kept as a secret, you should not trust that ‘false’ assurance because you’ve already proven that he/she cannot be trusted.
4. GOSSIPS CAN DESTROY OTHER PEOPLE
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. – Proverbs 18:21
Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down. As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome person for kindling strife. The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts. – Proverbs 26: 20-22
Numerous suicides due to bullying started with just one simple yet destructive gossip. Whether the gossip is true or not, we must be careful not to help in spreading it. It becomes the reason why we hate and why we judge those people that you don’t personally know. We became a helper in spreading evil. Worse, you became the reason why people hate and the reason why a kid decided to kill himself. You became the reason of someone’s death.
5. GOSSIPS WILL DESTROY YOU
The lips of fools bring them strife, and their mouths invite a beating. The mouths of fools are their undoing, and their lips are a snare to their very lives. – Proverbs 18:6
You may not be aware of it, but gossips speak so much about who you are. It speaks of what matters for you the most. Do you use your tongue to encourage people or do you use it do destroy others? How you use your tongue speaks so much about the state of your heart. And even if you praise God with the same tongue that you use to destroy other people, your praises will be nothing for Him. If you truly believe in God and confess that He is your LORD, you should have a heart that is willing to change.
Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. – James 1:26
I WAS ONCE A VICTIM
When I was in College, there was a very malicious gossip about me that spread among my high school classmates. They said I was pregnant, and the worse thing is, I am a thousand miles away from my hometown and if that malicious gossip was able to reach my parents, I won’t be there to defend myself right away.
If it wasn’t through a friend who bravely asked me if it’s true, I will never know that people were talking about me. At first, I just laughed because it’s not true. But when she starts saying that she received that information not as a joke but a serious one, I started asking why would anybody spread such malicious rumor when they all know that I don’t even have a boyfriend and I’m not even seeing someone during that time.
It didn’t totally affect me because during my 18th Birthday I invited my high school classmates and so they were able to see, personally, that I wasn’t pregnant. I knew who was the source and maybe he just started it to make fun of me, but actually it’s kind of degrading for my part especially for those who do not know me that much but know who I am. And then, what if there were no legit news that reached them to prove that it wasn’t true, maybe they will start to assume that I had an abortion especially nowadays that our society is so quick to judge other people without trying to know what’s the truth. It’s so easy for us to spread lies yet when it comes to the truth, we easily keep our mouth shut.
BE THE DEAD-END OF THE CHAIN
The biggest lesson I learned about rumors is to be the ‘dead-end’ of the the chain. What you heard should be kept to yourself. Gossips should not come from you because you’re not only destroying other people and their reputation. You are also destroying your own image.
Sometimes, what’s more sad about this is that some of those who spread gossips are our fellow ‘believers‘ in Christ. Some mask it as a ‘prayer request’ that should have been kept only to few people yet the next day you’ll just hear that your simple prayer request is now a ‘gossip‘.
I think, that’s one of the drawbacks of having a small group that you cannot completely trust. You must sincerely agree among yourselves to simply keep it as a secret especially if the issue is so ‘image-degrading’.
As Christians, we must be sensitive and have self-control on what to share or not, because you are destroying another believer in Christ if you can’t keep it to yourself. If that person asked that it should be a secret, be trustworthy and really try your best to keep it as a secret. If it was asked in a form of a prayer request, tell it to God alone and not to other people.
You should aim to gain their trust, and not someone who helps in destroying them through some malicious gossips.
Be someone who will sincerely say: “Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips (Psalm 141:3).”
Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor? – James 4:11-12
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. – Ephesians 4:31
He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets, But he who is trustworthy conceals a matter. – Proverbs 11:13