DAILY BIBLE READING:

1 Kings 5:1–6:38
Acts 7:1-29
Psalm 127:1-5
Proverbs 16:28-30

BIBLE VERSE(S) FOR TODAY:

Proverbs 16:28 “A contrary person spreads conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.”

REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

Gossip is the language of cowards. It hides in the shadows and hopes that the one being discussed doesn’t walk into the room. And it is typically engaged in by someone who wants desperately to feel valued so they will share information that will at least momentarily gain them an interested audience.

Gossip is essentially sharing information that should remain private or is of a negative nature; further, the information that is shared is given to someone who doesn’t need to know or will do nothing positive / constructive with it.

Gossip is a cancer that is capable of destroying the best of relationships. So, this being the case, it can easily destroy lesser relationships. It can be used of Satan to destroy the unity in a church. It can tarnish someone’s integrity to the point that it is almost impossible to regain.

Over and over in Scripture, we read that gossip is something to be avoided and is only engaged in by the most simple-minded of people…

Proverbs 11:13 “A gossip goes around revealing a secret, but a trustworthy person keeps a confidence.”

Proverbs 20:19 “The one who reveals secrets is a constant gossip; avoid someone with a big mouth.”

So, my friend, don’t do it. And don’t listen to it.

If you are tempted to gossip, ask yourself:

“Is what I am wanting to share better kept private?” 
If so, don’t make it public by bringing one more person into the mix. 

“Is what I am wanting to share of a negative nature?” 
If so, there may be a small number of people (parents, leaders, etc.) who need to know about it. But, the following question is essential…

“Does the one I am wanting to share it with need to know about this?”
Maybe the one you are sharing the information with needs to know about a problem so that they can be extra watchful. (For instance, a church leader needs to know about someone who has committed a sexual crime who has recently started hanging around the youth group.) 
Maybe they could work to fix the problem.
Maybe they could simply go as a witness as you confront the problem.

It seems that the root of gossip is found in the heart. If we truly love others, then we won’t recklessly share information that would demean them in other people’s eyes. On those rare occasions that we do share private or negative information, it is because we love them and want to work toward a Christ-honoring remedy to a problem.