Gossip is Playing with Fire

Gossip is one of those sins that people don't really take seriously. As long as we are saying factual information and we would say it to someone's face we consider it information sharing, not gossip. Admittedly, I have gossiped over the years without giving it much thought, but that all changed when the tables were turned and I was on the wrong end of gossip.

God is very clear on what He thinks of gossip by the sins He compares it to:
They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents (Rom. 1:29).
Gossips and haters of God are found in the same sentence which shows God's classification for that particular sin. We also know that gossip can have profound effects from reading the book of Proverbs.

A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.(Proverbs 16:28)
For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.(Proverbs 26:20)
Gossip separates close friends and fuels quarrels and is also addictive like candy. It is not that gossips have malevolent intent, it just feels good for them to do it.

The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body. (Proverbs 26:22)
Gossips typically report to other people behind the scenes what happened or what someone said without the context or the intent of the person who is being reported on (The lack of context or intent is not necessarily intentional). Because all of this communication is done in private echo chambers, it is impossible to refute or to clarify. And, by the time the situation becomes public, who said what and what each person said is lost forever without a full investigation. Those who participate in gossip excuse their behaviour and warm their hands on the fire they produced until it burns them, at which point they get angry. Once the situation becomes a forest fire and they realize they will lose everything, they attempt to solve the issue by using eye droppers to put it out. But, they don't realize that it is not that the other person can't see, it is that there is nothing to see because everything has burned to the ground. The destroyed relationships will now have to be built from the ground up.

Unfortunately, I myself have gossiped. This is a sin of which I need to repent.


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