“He who covers a transgression seeks love,
But he who repeats a matter separates friends” (Proverbs 17:9, NKJV).
Here’s a story about gossiping, which I read from Christopher News Notes, June 1992:
Four preachers met for a friendly gathering. During the conversation, one preacher said, “Our people come to us and pour out their hearts, confess certain sins and needs. Let’s do the same. Confession is good for the soul.” In due time all agreed. One confessed he liked to go to movies and would sneak off when away from his church. The second confessed to liking to smoke cigars and the third one confessed to liking to play cards. When it came to the fourth one, he wouldn’t confess. The others pressed him saying, “Come now, we confessed ours. What is your secret or vice?” Finally he answered, “It is gossiping and I can hardly wait to get out of here.” (Christopher News Notes, June 1992.)
We all know that Gossiping is very DESTRUCTIVE. However, most of us, if not all succumbed to this sin. There is no denying that there are a lot of relationships that had been destroyed because of gossip.
How about you? Do you love to gossip? Do you indirectly or directly participate in circulating information that can potentially damage relationships, reputations and even a person’s future? If yes, then you need to remember, NEVER TELL A GOSSIP.
There is something about gossiping that really makes us want to spill it out. Some people do it to make them feel superior to others. Some do it to deliberately hurt other people. Some do it out of envy, for attention, anger, revenge, or simply just out of boredom.
No matter what your reason may be, God holds you accountable for what you say during this lifetime (Matthew 12:36). He listens to every word you say. Sooner or later, you will reap the negative effects of gossiping, during this lifetime and for the life to come.
Here are 3 quick tips on how to fight the temptation of gossiping.
1. If you can’t say anything good, keep your mouth shut
The best way to stop gossiping is to simply say NO. Say no to the urge to share rumours or hurtful information. Most of the time, when you hear gossip, there is really no way you can be 100% sure if the information is true or not. In addition to this, you can only see the outward appearance of a situation, but not the heart, which only God can perfectly do.
2. Imagine yourself in the shoes of the person being gossiped
Before those words leave your mouth, think about what you are about to say. Are your words helpful and make the situation any better? Or do your words just make the situation worse than it already is? Are you becoming a blessing to others or a burden by telling this information? Honestly answer these questions and be wise with how you act.
3. Tell the information in front of the person involved
You probably heard about “talking behind people’s back”. Now that’s gossip. If you are going to discuss something, make sure that the person concerned is present when you do that. This way, that person will have a chance to defend himself or simply know about the information and do something about it.
Here’s a good rule of thumb for you to know whether you are about to say a gossip or not: the moment you talk about other person, be it the truth or lie, you are gossiping.
Think about the power of words. Will you use it to destroy or edify other people? Use this power wisely. At the end of the day, you will be happier and blessed if you do. The best news is that God will reward you for doing the righteous act!
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