If someone posts something controversial on Facebook, we talk about it. A leader is backsliding? Oh you better believe everyone has heard.
Some people are naturally attracted to gossip because it is a way to bond with other people. Two or three people can easily find an area of common ground at the expense of someone else's reputation.
Some do it out of envy. Others do it to build themselves up by putting down others.
Some people are terrified of confrontation and resort to speaking their mind about someone...without the person even knowing.
Let's face it, gossip is tempting. And because gossip is not preached on as often as other pressing issues in the church, its severity can often be swept under the rug. When in actuality, gossip is like a wild fire that spreads quickly!
God found it appropriate to mention gossip in His word over 50 times. That means a lot of people will fall short in the area of gossip and submit to the temptation every once in a while.
Here are 3 practical questions to ask yourself when you are tempted to gossip:
1. Would I say this if she/he was here?
Unless you are planning a surprise birthday party (which by the way don't ever) you probably don't have anything "private" to say about someone who is not present. In which case, you can ask yourself- would I really be comfortable saying this around her?
Now this doesn't give you the right to run around saying mean things to people.
When God leads you to talk to someone about something, He leads you to do it in love [Ephesians 4:15.]
2. Is this edifying or uplifting?
This is an easy one. If it isn't edifying or encouraging, you shouldn't be saying it at all [Ephesians 4:29.]
|you gotta admit|
3. Have I prayed about it?
I'm sure you have heard a kajillion times that you should pray about it before you talk about it. Sooo, you're probably not very impressed with this point.
And honestly, this one is easier said than done. It feels much better to the flesh to talk to another living, breathing, real person that looks just like you, than to talk to God...privately.
I remember I had a friend in high school, Anjelica. (We also went to the same church but evidently she was paying more attention on Sunday morning than I was because) she had a zero-tolerance policy for gossip. I remember sitting next to her at the lunch table and when people would start to say anything negative about someone else, she would immediately excuse herself or say, "I would prefer if you didn't say that around me."
I was so shocked. I'd never met someone with the boldness and integrity to walk away from gossip like that. I was like
And from that moment on I knew. Not only was she incredibly brave and honorable, I trusted that when I wasn't around, she wouldn't let people talk about me either.
It's no wonder she turned out to be the most beautiful bride I've ever seen, whose wedding pictures I stalk on Pinterest.