I have been thinking a lot about gossip lately. This has been because of the endless media reports about Tiger Woods, Michael Clarke and other “celebrities”. It seems as a society we are addicted to gossip and it fuels so much of our media.
So what is gossip? My kids dictionary described it very simply…
- Gossip is informal conversation, often about people’s private affairs
- Someone who is a gossip enjoys talking about other people’s private affairs
- If you gossip, you talk informally with someone, especially about other people
From this we can see it about talking about other people’s private business to a third person or group of people.
- Gossip can betray confidences (Proverbs 11:13)
- Gossip can separate friends (Proverbs 16:28)
- Gossip makes quarrels last longer (Proverbs 26:20)
- When we gossip we can slander others (Leviticus 19:16)
- People who gossip are wicked (Romans 1:29)
- Christians should not gossip, but should take care of their own homes (1 Timothy 5:13)
Now these are only a few verses, but you can see they paint a very negative picture. They do not help the situation or build others up. If fact they are quite destructive.
So how do we know if we are gossiping? I remember hearing a sermon about it many years ago that has always stayed with me.
The preacher said, “If you are not part of the problem or part of the solution, then it might just be gossip”.
I think in our gossip obsessed society, this is a good place to start. Let’s not involve ourselves in other people’s private business today, unless we are part of the problem or part of the solution.