It seems almost everyone gossips. Kids at school do, grown-ups do, and people on television make lots of money from rumors and talking about famous politicians or actors. But what does Jesus think about gossip? Let’s go to the Bible and find out.
What does gossip do? It hurts relationships. Look in the Bible. “A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends” (Proverbs 16:28 ESV). Gossip can ruin even the best friendships.
The hurt gossip causes is just as real as a physical wound. The Bible says, "Telling lies about someone is as harmful as hitting him with an axe, or wounding him with a sword, or shooting him with a sharp arrow" (Proverbs 25:18, TLB). There is a common saying that “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me,” but the Bible shows us that God does not agree. Words can be just as hurtful as real weapons. To learn more about the why Christians should be careful with their words, read Proverbs 21:23 and Matthew 5:22.
Gossip wastes valuable time. It’s in the Bible. "Yet we hear that some of you are living in laziness, refusing to work, and wasting your time in gossiping. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ we appeal to such people–we command them–to quiet down, get to work, and earn their own living" (2 Thessalonians 3:11-12, TLB). Jesus is coming soon! There isn’t time to waste tearing others down.
People who gossip are not trustworthy. The Bible says, “A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret” (Proverbs 11:13 NIV). Jesus wants His people to be honest. Be the kind of person that others trust to keep a secret.
How much do the things I say matter? The things we say are a reflection of our heart. Jesus said, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:35-37, NKJV)
The things we say matter a lot actually. The Bible tells us in Colossians 4:6, NKJV “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.”
What can I do to prevent myself from gossiping? "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things" (Philippians 4:8, NIV). If Christians just stick to these subjects, there will be nothing to worry about. You can’t hurt anyone with gossip if you only say and think good things.