What Is Gossip In The Bible

Gossip is a conversation, report or rumor shared among people about either someone or something. According to the Bible, gossip can be destructive, leading to sinful behavior and devastating relational damage. In many ways, the biblical understanding of gossip is similar to the definition of slander in secular culture. However, there are some notable differences.

The Bible has numerous verses that speak against gossip and its damaging effects. In Proverbs 11:13, it states “A gossip goes about telling secrets, but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence.” This verse clearly illustrates the distinction between those who gossip and those who don’t. It illustrates how people who use the power of their words to spread rumors can do more harm than good. People who gossip risk damaging relationships and losing their credibility.

Experts agree that the danger of gossip is its tendency to proliferate quickly. The Bible acknowledges this too in Proverbs 20:19: “A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much.” By talking too much and revealing rumors, people are not being responsible with the power of their words. This can cause disharmony among people who now distrust each other.

Another warning against gossip can be found in Proverbs 16:28: “A gossip separates the best of friends.” Gossip often brings out the worst in people, and it can cause a deep rift in any relationship.​​​​​​ Distrust, hostility and a lack of trust can all be the result of gossip. Despite its potential to breed mistrust and cause serious problems, the Bible acknowledges that gossip still happens. In Romans 1:29, it says “They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips.” This verse acknowledges that gossip is a part of human nature, and that it should be avoided at all costs.

Gossip Can Breed Hatred

The Bible speaks directly to all Christians in the book of James to never participate in gossip. In James 3:5-6, it states “…the tongue is also a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue, we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.” This verse emphasizes how dangerous it can be to gossip, as it can lead to hatred, animosity and hurt feelings among people.

Ultimately, gossip has the potential to spread rapidly, easily and often originates from unverified suspicions or suspicions. It has the potential to cause significant relational damage, destroy reputation, and even cause hatred among those involved. As stated, the Bible is direct in its warnings against gossip. Gossip, or the spreading of rumors, could lead to sinful behaviors and can be incredibly damaging, both emotionally and spiritually.

Gossip Is Unrighteous

The Bible is clear that spreading rumors and gossip is not a desirable behavior. It even considers it as unrighteous, or to be without understanding of God’s will. Proverbs 10:23 tells us that “wickedness brings down one who is evil, but the righteous have a refuge when they speak.” This encourages us to not be careless with our words and to be especially mindful of what we say about others. It is clear that the Bible warns against gossip and considers it an unrighteous activity.

In the New Testament, Jesus encourages us to think before we speak, which is in line with the warnings against gossip in the Old Testament. Jesus even refers to gossip as “evil speaking.” In Matthew 5:22, Jesus says “But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” Jesus is warning us not to spread rumors about each other or even to speak ill of each other. This further emphasizes the importance of being mindful of our words.

Gossip is Detrimental to Others

The Bible also speaks out against those who persecute others with gossip, calling it “backbiting.” Psalm 15:3 says “He [God] who speaks maliciously against his neighbor, secretly slanders him.” This verse speaks to the idea that gossip can bring about destruction to other’s reputations. We should be mindful of our words and thoughts when it comes to gossip, for it can cause much hurt and sorrow for the people involved.

In conclusion, the Bible is clear about the dangers of gossip. Gossip can be incredibly dangerous, as it has the potential to cause destruction and pain to those involved. The Bible acknowledges this, and puts forth numerous warnings to Christians not to engage in gossip. It is clear that gossip should be avoided, and that we should be mindful of the words we share with others.

Subverting God’s Word

The Bible acknowledges that gossip can subvert God’s Word in the book of Proverbs. Proverbs 22:11 states “He who loves gossip has no real friends; He who speaks wise words has friendly acquaintances.” This reinforces the idea that God desires for His people to be righteous and not engage in activities that are destructive to the soul. Not only is engaging in gossip against God, it can also cause serious relational damage between friends and acquaintances.

Psalm 101:5 tells us to “The one who thinks maliciously of his neighbor, trying to bring him down in order to subvert his plans, will find himself deserted by the Lord”. This verse illustrates how serious God takes the temptation to gossip and the dangers it poses to our spiritual lives. We are all susceptible to the temptation to gossip, and it is important for us to be mindful of our words and actions in order to prevent harm to others.

Jesus reinforces the idea that gossip should be avoided in Matthew 12:36-37. He states “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.” This is Jesus warning us that gossip is something to be weary of, as it can have eternal consequences. Gossip not only has the ability to subvert God’s Word, but can cause serious damage and has the ability to bring condemnation upon those who partake in it.

Gossip Promotes Division

Ultimately, the Bible tells us that gossip can lead to a lack of unity, and it should be avoided at all costs. In James 4:11, it says “Do not criticize one another, brethren.” This reinforces the idea that we should be aware of our words and how those words can affect others. Gossip can be incredibly damaging and can quickly create divisions. Because of the potential of gossip to hurt relationships and cause animosity, it is important for us to be wise with our words.

Galatians 5:19-21 further emphasizes this point, saying “selfish ambition, envy, gossip and drunkenness, which goes against what God desires for us”. This verse explains how gossip is an offense to God and how gossip can quickly lead to sinfulness. By gossiping, not only are we causing struggles among ourselves, we are also offending God.

At the core, gossip can be incredibly destructive. It has the potential to spread quickly and hurt those around us. As this article has demonstrated, the Bible plainly explains that gossip is not desirable behavior and it should be something that Christians take seriously. Gossip brings with it the potential to cause serious relational and spiritual damage, and we should all strive to be more mindful of the words we use and how we use them.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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