- If you do not have anything nice to say, do not say anything at all. (Eph. 5:4)
- Never speak about a person in any way other than compliments and praise, unless they are present, and even when they are present, “Let all that you do be done in love.” (I Cor. 16:14)
- Never share any information about another person unless they have given you their specific permission to do so. (Prov. 6:19)
- Never speak about another person in any other way than how you would share it if they were present. (Prov. 25:23 & Mt. 5:37)
- When in doubt, keep your mouth shut. (Romans 14:23)
Proverbs 20:19 tells us not to associate with a gossip. Why? Because in our association with them, we will become like them (see Prov. 13:20).
And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them. Ephesians 5:11
Romans 1:29 tells us that those who continually practice gossip will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Gossip is listed with such sins as homosexuality, murder, inventors of evil, and haters of God. Clearly, we are to aggressively guard the body of Christ against gossip.
2 Corinthians 12:20 tells us that gossip is a reflection of a lack of acknowledgment of God. It further tells us that gossip is a reflection of an unrepentant heart.
1 Timothy 5:13 says of younger widows, “They go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention.” The Bible emphasizes that women, although not exclusively, are particularly susceptible to the sin of gossip.
1 Timothy 3:11; 2 Timothy 3: 3; Titus 2: 3 indicate that “Malicious gossips,” are not to be tolerated in the church. Amazingly, the term that we translate, “malicious gossip,” diabolous, diabolous, is also translated, “devil.” A malicious gossip is a slanderer, one who spreads stories, true or false, that hurt and bring pain to others.
Remember, God will judge every careless word you speak. Secondly, if you have been guilty of gossip, repent. If we confess our sins to God, He is always faithful to forgive us. Go to the person(s) that you have sinned against/with, and tell them that you are sorry, and ask their forgiveness. Third, if we are aware of a brother or sister who is involved in gossip we need to “love them.” The Bible tells us that, “everyone whom the Lord loves, He disciplines.” Galatians 6:1 tells us to go and confront them with a spirit of gentleness. If they repent, Hallelujah! If not, Mt. 18:15-17 is our guide. Take others with you as witnesses and if they repent, Hallelujah!! If not, they need to be brought before the church. If they repent, Hallelujah!!! If not, they are to be removed from the church.
Although “gossip” is always forgivable through confession and repentance, the Bible gives us specific instruction to “not associate with a gossip.” (See Prov. 20:19) Titus 3:10,11 tells us to, “Reject a factious man after a first and second warning, knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned.” The Bible teaches us that gossip is to the body of Christ, as cancer is to the human body. Both must be dealt with immediately and decisively, if the body is to remain healthy, and become all that God has intended it to be.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy. -Proverbs 27:6
Reprove a wise man and he will love you. Reprove a scoffer and he will hate you. -Proverbs 9:8
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