‘They will start gossiping and become busybodies, talking about things that are none of their business.’ 1 Timothy 5:13 CEV
The Bible says gossip is nothing less than meddling in other people’s business. Jon Zens says: ‘I have watched friends and families suffer untold pain because of gossip… the information someone dumps on you without your consent and consent of the person involved. It can be true, partially true, or completely false. It can be motivated by good intentions, but it always contains negative information and colours people’s perceptions of someone unjustly. The person being torn down is out of the loop because talebearers usually avoid speaking directly to the one they are demeaning.’
Fred Gage said, ‘The Christian army is the only one that shoots and buries its wounded.’ So set the standard for your own life by evaluating people based on your experience with them, not on what somebody else says. Second-hand information is notoriously unreliable and misleading, and it violates Christ’s command to ‘treat people the same way you want them to treat you.’ (Matthew 7:12 NASB) When you have been hurt by tittle-tattle, you can relate to the wisdom of those words.
Rumours and innuendos may seem innocent and come to you subtly, but even if someone isn’t operating in malice, their motive is irrelevant. Spreading gossip defies walking in love and looking for the best in others. AW Tozer said, ‘Never pass anything on that will hurt somebody. “Love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8 NIV), and the talebearer has no place in God’s favour. If you know something that would hurt one of God’s children, take it out, bury it and say, “Here lies in peace the story about my brother.” God will take care of it.’
SoulFood: Acts 16–17, Matt 27:45–56, Ps 1, Pro 16:10–15
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023