Stop the gossip

07 March 2018
‘The words of a gossip are like tasty bits of food.’

When we gossip it’s like we’re throwing dirt on others, hoping to bring them down to our level. It’s why Solomon warned: ‘The words of a gossip are like tasty bits of food. People like to gobble them up.’ Our ears crave gossip like a stomach craves food. Solomon goes on to give this warning: ‘Gossips can’t keep secrets, so avoid people who talk too much’ (Proverbs 20:19 NCV). We should be avoiding those who gossip, and avoiding gossiping ourselves. Gossip has the power to destroy relationships with others, it breaks down trust and removes loyalty. People seem to enjoy bringing other people down, often to make themselves feel better. When we feel insecure about ourselves we can be tempted to talk about others to make ourselves seem better than them. Gossip can also create bonds between us, and while these bonds are unhealthy, they settle our need to be liked, accepted and found interesting. When we’ve got gossip to share, we usually end up with people desperate to hear it. But this isn’t how we should be living. We should be building other people up and not bringing them down. The Bible says: ‘So encourage each other and give each other strength’ (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NCV). And when we’re feeling insecure, we should be turning to God’s Word to remind ourselves that we’re loved and accepted, rather than trying other ways, like gossiping, to win people’s approval. Gossiping and bringing others down often comes easily to us. The Bible says: ‘No human being can tame the tongue’ (James 4:8 NIV). So we need to ask for God’s help to tame our tongues and remove gossiping from our lives.

 

What Now?

Make sure you only speak words that build other people up today. When you get to the end of the day, reflect on how much of a challenge you found it.

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