A couple of weeks ago I was reading about one of the major plagues in the modern church — guess what it was? Gossip! A person who is a gossip is defined in Webster’s as a person who habitually reveals personal or sensational facts about others. The word gossip is defined as casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true. Both uses of the word smack of trouble, and trouble it is. It is trouble for the person sharing it because it is sin. It is trouble for the one being shared about because it is information that is being told to hurt or discredit.
What is the source of gossip? Usually it is unfulfilled people trying to lift themselves up at the expense of someone else. They may be unfulfilled about how they perceive themselves and/or unfulfilled in their relationship with the Lord. What seems so small and unimportant in gossip is huge in the impact it can have after going to the second source, and then the third, and so on. Information gets left out and information is added and suddenly the whole thing is out of control. Look at what just a few scriptures in Proverbs tells us about the effects of gossip…
A gossip betrays a confidence,but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.
A perverse man stirs up dissension,and a gossip separates close friends.
The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts.
A gossip betrays a confidence;so avoid a man who talks too much.
Without wood a fire goes out;without gossip a quarrel dies down.
John wrote in his third letter, “I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will have nothing to do with us. So if I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, gossiping maliciously about us. Not satisfied with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.” It all comes down to pride. It is pride that causes us to want to be first. There is only one first and His name is Jesus. Keep him first and all the other things fall into place.
Keep in mind that Scripture is not silent to this great problem WE ALL deal with on a daily basis. Now, what do we do to stem the tide of gossip? Be The Club! You know, The Club that you put on your steering wheel to keep someone from stealing your car. They get in and cannot turn the wheel, and when you cannot turn the wheel, you cannot drive the car in any direction but straight. Be The Club on gossip and lock it up. Don’t let the enemy drive your car — stop any gossip from going through you. When the gossip car stops, the gossip stops. On the other hand, don’t just stop allowing the gossip to go through you. Don’t even entertain it. In other words, don’t be The Hub. The Hub in our computer world is something that receives information and then sends it back out to multiple sources. If The Hub is shut down, the information goes no further. Do not be The Hub, and let others know you are not The Hub. After a while, they will stop trying to get information through you, and we will start to see victories in the war on gossip.
The question to you, and to myself, is are you The Hub or The Club? I want to be The Club. Join with me and help keep me accountable by being a part of The Club that wars against the plague called gossip. The gospel will be better served when we get a handle on gossip.