From Where I Stand: Gossip

Gossip is the world’s foremost delicacy, a taste sensation that excites even the most discriminating palate, and one which is refused with the only the greatest exertion of willpower. The brother of the Lord wrote, “the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell” (James 3:6). Gossip is but one way that the tongue mars our discipleship, but it is among the most destructive. “For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another” (Galatians 5:14-15).  What is more unloving – more counter to the Golden Rule – than to gossip about someone, especially a brother or sister in Christ? To spread lies is slander, but gossip is occasionally true, but always reported with gleeful malice, with self-serving viciousness. Gossip has wreaked havoc on more than one church, where it ought to be thoroughly extinct. Stories are drafted, told and retold, growing as they go, until they so embarrass their subject that reconciliation becomes nearly impossible. What a damaging fire a little busybody’s spark can ignite!