“But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.” James 3:8-10…………….
“Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.” Psalm 141:3……………
“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” Eph. 4:29………….
“I hope you’re lying down,” I told my friend. “Or sitting down,” I continued. After all, she was going through major medical treatment and might have been lying down. Of course, the expression is, “I hope you’re sitting down.” That’s the expression we use when we’re giving people incredible, wild, unbelievable, shocking news, right? So on I went. I told her this. And I told her that. All of it. Then I said, “I’m not trying to gossip.”
“And I’m not trying to criticize,” I carried on. “And I’m not trying to judge.” After all, she should know, and God should know, of course, I wasn’t sinning. “It’s just that I can’t believe so-and-so did this. And so-and-so said that. And then….”
“So-and-so was trying to cover up,” my friend said.
“Well,…” I jumped back in there. I had hesitated to call my friend. Something didn’t seem quite right about my reason for calling. I wasn’t calling to say hello. Not to check in. Not so see how she was feeling. Not to fellowship with her. Not to update her on my ministry work. But to tell her about the so-and-so’s. But my hesitation had lasted but for a moment. For even as I dialed her number and waited to see if she would pick up the phone, I was in my mind justifying my reason for calling. Surely there was some good reason why I just had to tell her about those people. Those people she knew personally, mind you. Surely God wouldn’t have anything against what I was saying. Surely there was something good in it. Besides, I’m not a gossiper. I struggle with sin just like we all do, and God is ever refining me, but gossip just isn’t –
Gossip is sin, sin is disobedience, sin is rebellion against God, sin hurts God, sin needs to be repented of, the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, chastens us, and leads us to repentance, I needed to repent, of gossip, judging, condemning, and pride on top of it, the pride of looking down on people in need of Christ, the pride of acting like there was nothing wrong with what I was doing, and there it was.
Sin is sin is sin, no matter what sin it is, no matter how often we do it, no matter how we may try to justify it, no matter how much our world says it’s okay because the world’s ways go against God’s ways, and the sin of gossip does three things I had never considered before:
It hurts God because we disobey Him and hurt the people God created by gossiping about them, and the pride involved in gossip is an abomination to God who commands us continually in His Word to humble ourselves.
Gossip hurts people, and we are commanded above all else to love the Lord with all our hearts and to love others.Gossip keeps us from humbly seeing the needs of those we’re gossiping about and doing as the Lord might lead us such as praying, sharing the Gospel with them, helping them to follow Jesus if they already believe in Him, and helping them in any way the Lord might show us.
If the Lord is showing you right now you’ve been gossiping, you know what you need to do.