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Posts Tagged ‘slander’


KJV and NKJV Scripture

– You shall not go up and down as a talebearer among the people.  The words of a talebearer are as wounds and go down into the innermost parts of the belly. – Leviticus 19:16 and Proverbs 18:8

– Gossip is the devil’s radio. – George Harrison

“Loose lips sink ships” is a decades-old American idiom that attained wide-spread popularity during WWII.  Originally created by the War Ad Council, it appeared on posters back then put out by the U.S Office of War.  It means beware of unguarded talk, as careless conversations may be of use to any enemy.

Loose lips breed gossipers and busybodies saying words they should not (2 Thessalonians 3:111 Timothy 5:13) – launching seemingly harmless talk such as “Guess what I heard about so-and so?”  We avoid trouble if we keep our mouth (Proverbs 21:23). Gossip means this hasn’t been learned (Psalm 141:3).

Gossip is ungodliness and being disobedient.  It is not having the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).  Jesus didn’t go around spreading rumors, revealing personal secrets (John 2:24-25), or engaging in any chit-chat. Gossip is lots of idle talk.  We will all give an account of every idle word we ever say (Matthew 12:36).

So, what exactly is gossip?  It comes to us from the Old English word “godsibb.”  Up until the mid 1500’s, it meant a familiar acquaintance.  As time passed, its sense was extended to one who “engaged in familiar talk.”  However, by the mid 1800’s, gossip had come to mean trifling talk and spreading groundless rumor.

A gossip is sometimes referred to in Scripture as a talebearer or a busybody.  A Christian busybody is not very disciplined – but one who walks disorderly.  It is one who doesn’t work, for they are more focused on the personal affairs of others, in hopes to find some new thing to gossip about (2 Thessalonians 3:11).

Gossip is unsubstantiated hearsay often revealing juicy secrets one has about another (Proverbs 11:13). It has a way of coming back full circle to the person being gossiped about.  It returns loud and clear to their ears.  Even if whispered to begin with, gossip separates close friends in the end (Proverbs 16:28).

Gossip is frequently spread by a person under the guise of them being knowledgeable about something or someone.  This is how gossip gains a foothold and is able to spread.  However, it is not the same as just exchanging information.  The difference between the two centers on intent and why a person is talking.

Information is helpful, gossip is hurtful.  Gossipers have a secret goal to build themselves up by making others look bad, exalting themselves in the process (Luke 14:11).  They speak of the faults, failings, or shortcomings of other people – revealing potentially embarrassing or shameful details about them.

We are all prone to gossip.  It’s why we have to be very careful as Christians as to what we are filling our souls with, for our hearts will always speak out of their abundance (Luke 6:45).  Still, some are more apt to gossip than others depending on how they were brought up – or where they are now in their life.

Those raised in houses full of strife and busy lives hear more in the way of steady talk than those raised in quiet and reserved atmospheres (Proverbs 17:1). People who grow up in the former might become gossipers early on.  Those brought up in the latter usually let their words be few (Ecclesiastes 5:2).

Others gossip out of boredom.  They always need to see or hear some new thing or person to spike their interest and talk (Acts 17:21).  In several studies, boredom was the #1 reason why young people say they spread rumors.  When everyone is happy and getting along, it’s dull.  Gossip can shake things up.

A third group very susceptible to gossip are widowed women and men who can find too much time on their hands.  Once accustomed to children and spouses around the house, they now have empty hours to fill. Without godly thought as how to spend them, idle walking and talking easily begins (1 Timothy 5:13).

Whisperings is another word for gossip.  Christians engaging in either are in eternal danger.  It is a sign of turning aside after Satan and departing the living God (1 Timothy 5:15, Hebrews 3:12).  God can turn one over to whispering when the devil is served and worshipped more than He is (Romans 1:25,28-29).

Gossip generates slanderous communications and comments.  Slander is evil in every way and corrupts any good manners a person may have (1 Corinthians 15:33).  Being a gossip or slanderer requires one to become a busybody – or have another to be one for them – to provide the proper “dirt” on somebody.

A busybody meddles in the affairs of others.  They snoop and spy, being the investigator for the gossips and rumormongers.  Just like some widowers, people like this are not redeeming their time very wisely (Ephesians 5:15-17).  Being a busybody is just as worthy of death as being a murderer (1 Peter 4:15).

Whatever name we want to call gossip, all of them create a lot of contention in life.  However, just as any fire goes out without wood, so does strife cease when the talebearing stops (Proverbs 26:20).  All gossip is sin.  If we regard it in our heart we will have a hard time getting prayers answered (Psalm 66:18).

Loose lips can sink just as many spiritual ships (e.g. fellowship, discipleship, worship) as they do physical ones.  Careless and uncommitted walks with the Lord lead to careless talk and communications.  Unguarded talk such as gossip gives ample ammunition to our adversary, Satan – so he can devour us (1 Peter 5:8).

This is why it is eternally dangerous for Christians to keep on minding earthly matters (Philippians 3:19), and staying entangled in affairs of this life (2 Timothy 2:4).  It means we will keep listening to Satan’s lies more than God’s truths.  Our walk and talk will follow whoever we are heeding and believing more.

Our words will become our earthly and eternal burden (Jeremiah 23:36).  In the end, we will be justified or condemned by all the things we said in this life – or spread like gossip (Matthew 12:37).  Gossip grieves the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30).  It leaves one still stuck on destruction’s broad path (Matthew 7:13).

 

 

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