Biblical Standpoint on Gossip

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Gossip is a sin. Tolerating gossip is a sin. I have often been guilty of both. Gossip is one of the sins Christians have forgotten it is quite surprising considering how much the Bible has to say about gossip. Proverbs 18:8, Proverbs 20:19, Proverbs 17:4, Proverbs 6:16-19.

“Christian gossip” just might be the worst because we give the justification that we are not gossiping, rather we are concerned about a brother or sister and we want to pray or discuss how to help the person in question. The verse christian gossips usually resort to to justify their behaviour is James 5:19-20 which essentially encourages us to turn those who wander away back so as to save them from death. The problem here is that if we are being honest, when we gossip or should I say ‘discuss’ or ‘share information’ about someone else to someone else, we rarely accomplish the goal of saving the sinner or backslider. Instead, if that person were to walk in on our conversation, he/she would feel shamed and embarrassed.

Gossiping comes in many shades. Sometimes people do not even realise they are gossiping. Remember that listening to gossip is also sinful so there is nothing like ‘I was there when they said this and that but I did not contribute’. If you listened, you encouraged it. Proverbs 17:4. Today’s society craves gossip, we watch gossip on TV, we use our money to buy gossip news and tabloids.

For those who are wondering , the following constitute gossip:

  1. Slander: Spreading lies about someone to intentionally cause damage. Libel is the written form of slander. Colossians 3:8, James 4:11, Jeremiah 6:28, Jeremiah 9:4, Proverbs 11:13, Proverbs 20:19, Proverbs 26:20-22, Proverbs 10:18.
  2. Backbiting: Saying spiteful things abut someone who is not present, usually carried out in secret. Proverbs 25:23, Romans 1:28-32, 2 Corinthians 12:20, Psalm 101:5, Psalm 41:7, 1 Timothy 3:9-11, 1 Timothy 5:13-14, 2 Timothy 3:1-5, Titus 2:2-3.
  3. Rumours: When you hear something that is unconfirmed as true yet you tell someone else or ask around to gather more news on that issue. Proverbs 13:3, Matthew 12:36
  4. Gisting: Nigerians are familiar with this term. It is synonymous with giving the scoop (as well as receiving the scoop), dishin’ the dirt or sharing ‘juicy’ info you ‘heard’ about someone. You may mot have intended to hurt but you have kept the gossip alive and even enhanced its spread. Proverbs 20:19, James 5:9

we are to lay aside all manner of evil speaking. 1 Peter 2:1, Titus 3:2. Pamela Rose Williams has often quoted her husband as saying “If you aren’t part of the problem or the solution, its gossip”. Gossip has ruined office relationships, churches, friendships and even family relationships. Proverbs 17:9. Other words the Bible uses in reference to gossip are: tale bearing, busybody and whispering.

Other verses to further study: Ephesians 4:29, Proverbs 16:28, Exodus 23:1, Psalm 34:13, James 1:26, Luke 6:31, Proverbs 10:18, Leviticus 19:16, Psalm 50:19-23, James 3:7-8, Titus 3:10, Proverbs 18:13, 2 Timothy 3:23, Titus 3:9, Psalm 19:14, 2 Timothy 2:16.

Ezekiel 18:20

This is one of those verses that people do not like. Especially the first sentence. Well, as individuals, we are responsible to God for our own sin. Blaming others for our wrongful doing is very easy, but how about a little self evaluation??? We need to admit our sins and repent from them! God’s grace is ever sufficient but ultimately, we need to own up to our sin and pursue righteous living. 

Even if you are a Pastor’s kid, your parents’ salvation is THEIR salvation. There is no free ticket to heaven just because your mother or father is righteous. Each person has to work out their own salvation!!! 

John 3:16

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

This is a verse I have been aware of almost all my life (not surprising considering the fact that I am a preacher’s kid). Anyway, my parents gave us regular memory verses so I had crammed so many Bible verses as a kid. The thing is, being able to recite a verse and totally understanding the message in the verse are two different things. I only realised this a few days ago when this verse flashed in my mind.

I saw it in a whole new angle. For the first time, it dawned on me that this short verse literally describes everything we need to know about Christianity. The 4 aspects (for lack of a better word…or maybe not) of this verse describe the relationship God wants us to have with him.

 

FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD…

pretty self explanatory….God loves the world, the whole world. However the next sentence shows us the depth of this love.

 

THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON…

So, he gave his Son out of love. He gave his Son to the world because he of how much he LOVES the world. Sending down Jesus was a pure act of love. Makes you wonder how much he loves you, doesn’t it?

THAT WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM SHOULD NOT PERISH

We have to accept Jesus into our lives. We have to believe in Him, there are consequences for not accepting Jesus into our lives. The above sentence says those who believe in Him should not perish. Think of what happens to those who do not believe in Him…they will perish.

BUT HAVE ETERNAL LIFE

Eternal life is what we aim for as Christians. Why accept Jesus or label yourself as a Christian if you do not have eternity in view? We need to live a certain kind of life (A Christ-like life to be precise) in order to qualify for eternal life and of course this starts with letting Jesus into your life. Our God is a God of purpose and he requires the same of us.

If you want to surrender to God, you can do so by praying this Prayer of Salvation.

Prayer of Salvation

Heavenly Father,

I come to you this day as a sinner. I acknowledge that I have sinned and come short of your glory, I repent of all my sins and I confess that Jesus is Lord and I believe that Jesus died for my sins and was risen from the dead by the power of God. I believe in my heart that Jesus is Lord and i accept Him as my Lord and Saviour. I thank you for the gift of life and I thank you for saving me today. Give me the grace to live for you from now henceforth, In Jesus’ name. Amen!!!