towards any person,
no matter how juicy the tidbit of information..
may no evil or slanderous word leave my tounge.
i believe the issue of GOSSIP is perhaps something we don't confront enough in the church.
and my God is it rampant.
information below gathered from a talkjesus.com forum.
i stand rebuked. do you?
WHAT IS GOSSIP?
The above verses teach that GOSSIPS, SLANDERERS,WHISPERERS, etc., are words used to describe those who spread true information about a person, but the information concerns "things not proper to mention." We saw that these "things" could include "a transgression," "evil," "dishonor," "a matter," the "secrets of another," or "knowledge," and generally focus in on the past sins, mistakes, and failures of that person.
The arrogant and unforgiving attitude of our sin nature makes us ALL susceptible to getting involved in this abominable sin of gossip. In our selfishness, we feel better about ourselves when we can point to another person's failures.We saw that those that practice the sin of gossip are referred to as "worthless, perverse, wicked, hateful, fools."
WHAT TO DO ABOUT GOSSIP?
The Bible makes it very clear that just because we may have some true information, we do not have the right to share that information, especially when that information is damaging to an individual. Even when a Christian is in sin, it is to be kept quiet, private, and should be dealt with on a person-to-person basis, as follows::
Matthew 18:15 “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to
you, you have won your brother.
You go to your brother "in private." If "you have won your brother," the story stops there! If he continues in sin, then you go back with no more than two brothers, as follows:
Matthew 18:16 “But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that
by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed.
If you win your brother with two more witnesses, the story stops there. If he won't listen, proceed as follows::
Matthew 18:17 “If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to
listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
If your brother is won by the church, THE STORY STOPS THERE! If he continues in sin, he is to be put out of the church, and yes, you can tell others to perhaps warn them. But telling everyone about a sinning brother could be very damaging to the cause of Christ and the gospel. Does it really do any good to spread other people's failures when we all fail the Lord so many times? Remember, GOSSIP sows strife among the brothers, it's an ABOMINATION!
If someone comes to you and seems to be "GOSSIPING," (slandering another person), stop them immediately! Ask them if they have talked to the person that they seem to be gossiping about. Have they confronted this person about their sin? Has this person gone through church discipline? Is the person still practicing the sin? If the sin or problem has been dealt with, then the person "gossiping" should be confronted for sinning against you and against the person they are talking about. They need to apologize to you and the person they have slandered. You might even say to this person, "Why not tell me about some of your own failures instead of another person's failures. Will my knowing about another person's failures make my Christian walk any better?" "Will this information edify me?" Meditate on the following verses:
Ephesians 4:29-32 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.