Listening, repeating, or participating in talk and conversation that usually involves talking about others in a bad or even slanderous way
What you don’t see with your eyes, don’t witness with your mouth. Jewish Proverb
Whoever gossips to you will gossip about you. Spanish Proverb
Trying to squash a rumor is like trying to unring a bell. Shana Alexander
Gossip is an evil that is greatly underrated. In our hearts we know that it is wrong but we do it anyway. Avoiding gossip is difficult to do. It is all around us. A weakness in our human nature causes us to want to tell “unsightly” and “undesirable” things about others. If we really understand the destructive nature of “gossip” both to others and especially to our self we would go to much greater lengths to avoid it.
Gossip is a form of slander and character assassination. How can we knowingly do this to people we supposedly care about? Things often get repeated that are exaggerated and untrue about someone else. When we talk about others in a non-loving and non-caring manner, do we really care about them? Gossip tends to get embellished as it gets repeated. Those we gossip to, rest assured gossip about us when we are not around.
In a better world; we should replace gossip with saying good, kind and uplifting things. There can be a fine line between gossip and expressing concern. If someone is having problems that can be turned into the fodder of gossip, we are obliged to keep it to ourselves. We should put our energy into being concerned, helping and only sharing their needs with others who truly care for them. In discussing the topic of gossip, remember the Golden Rule as well as the adage” If you cannot say something good about a person do not say anything at all”
Beside the damage we do to others, the person most severely damaged is our self. One of life’s truisms is that when we do something undesirable to others, it will likely come back upon us with equal or greater intensity. It is a form of poetic justice. When we gossip we are truly hurting ourselves. We have damaged our integrity and our character. How foolish we are when we engage in this. It is a form of self-destruction.
Three things to remember about gossip: 1. Gossiping is engaging in destructive activity toward someone else; 2. Those we spread gossip to are equally likely to spread gossip about us; 3. Participating in gossip is self-destructive behavior done to ourselves by ourselves. There is no good that comes from gossip.
If we are a person of character and integrity we will avoid gossip, choosing not to initiate or participate in it.
Challenge: It is hard to resist gossip? Remember gossip is a form of slander. It is harmful to others as well as yourself. Remember poetic justice. Gossip finds a way to turn back on you. Instead turn your attention to saying good and kind things about others. Spread care and concern instead of gossip. Practice the Golden Rule. Always look for the good in others. Be an agent of positive change. Be a promoter of the good. Be a good example.
Wisdom: I resolve to speak ill of no man whatever, not even in a matter of truth; but rather by some means excuse the faults I hear charged upon others, and upon proper occasions speak all the good I know of everybody. Benjamin Franklin
Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from spreading lies. Proverbs 25:23
Your tongue plots destruction; it is like a sharpened razor you who practice deceit. Psalm 52:2
A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret. Proverbs 11:13
Are we looking for guidance and direction in how we should live our lives, Christ is the perfect example. When we are tempted to engage in such things as gossip, we should be reminded of Christ’s example. A good principle to always remember is that anything not done in a spirit of love is always on shaky ground. When we are being guided by the Holy Spirit we will be empowered to resist the temptation to gossip. We spread love instead.
Prayer: Help me to avoid gossip. Help me to look for the good in others and not the bad.