4 Things You Must do to Kill the Sin of Gossip

4 Things You Must do to Kill the Sin of Gossip

Can you pray for Jan? I heard she’s having some issues in her marriage. I think they are on the brink of divorce. In my sixteen years in ministry, I’ve had many women come to me and start off a conversation just like this one. Yet a conversation like this is nothing more than gossip, thinly veiled as a prayer request used as a way to share information about another member of church.

If I’m honest, it’s easier speaking about someone else’s life rather than my own. I even get a little joy out of hearing someone else’s problems. For a moment, it seems like my life is better than someone else’s. I can temporarily indulge in the spiritual high of knocking someone else off her pedestal in a pathetic attempt to keep me on my pedestal.

Perhaps, you, like me, have experienced the spiritual high of hearing about someone else’s problems. Have you thrived even a little bit on the idea that someone who on the exterior is thinner, prettier, or better than you is crumbling on the interior?

Our words have power. God used words when He spoke the world into being. Jesus used them to calm storms, heal the sick and rebuke the Pharisees. They can have a positive or negative effect on people, depending on which we choose to use.

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Since gossip can be a hard concept to identify, ask yourself the following questions before you spout off something you heard:

1. Would the person be offended if they heard you said it? Gossip rears its ugly head when we talk about our neighbor, especially if she isn’t there to defend herself. If the person you were speaking about walked into the room, would the person be embarrassed at what you were saying? Would you?

2. Is it factual, or just a rumor? Rumors you hear about others are just that, rumors. Not only can spreading false information ruin their reputation, but also yours.

3. Could the person you speak of trust you with additional information after you spread this information? You could destroy the trust between you and the other person if she finds out you aired her dirty laundry.

4. Would you be offended if someone said it about you? A good rule of thumb when it comes to what we say is to ask yourself if you would want it said about you. If you wouldn’t then chances are that person doesn’t want it said either. We are commanded in Scripture to love our neighbors as ourselves. That includes all of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

If you find yourself in a situation where someone is gossiping to you, here are 4 things you can do to stop it:

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