June 9: “When Sharing Information is Gossip and When It Is Not”

5 Minute Read

Today’s Bible Reading:

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

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Proverbs 16:28 (NLT): “A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of 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 shared is given to someone who doesn’t need to know or who will do nothing positive or 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 by 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 people…

Proverbs 11:13 (NLT): “A gossip goes around telling secrets, but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence.”

Proverbs 20:19 (NLT): “A gossip goes around telling secrets, so don’t hang around with chatterers.”

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 want 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 the one you are sharing the information with could work to fix the problem.
    • Perhaps they could simply go as a witness as you confront the issue.

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 rare occasions that we share private or negative information, we should love the person(s) we are speaking about and want to work toward a Christ-honoring remedy to a problem.


Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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