When I think of the word “gossip”, I think of Rachel Lynde from Anne of Green Gables.
She constantly snooped, made judgments, and then scattered her version of the “news” to other people around the town of Avonlea by flapping her unstoppable gums.
But hear what the Bible says: “Wrongdoers eagerly listen to gossip; liars pay close attention to slander.” (Proverbs 17:4 NLT)
In other words, it’s also wrong to “listen” to gossip, and to “pay attention” to slander. We perpetuate gossip not just by speaking half-truths about other people, but by going along with it in silence.
Maybe, we sometimes go along with it because, on some deep, unhealthy level, we want to believe the worst about someone. Or maybe, we just enjoy snacking on someone else’s dirt.
And there are other times when we’re thinking more clearly, when we know that we don’t like it, but simply don’t know what to do.
Sometimes, breaking the cycle is as simple as saying, “You know, I’m not sure that that’s the whole story,” or, “Well, it sounds like a tough situation that we should pray about.” That can send the signal that unfounded negativity isn’t welcome.
Wrongdoers eagerly listen to gossip; liars pay close attention to slander.
Prayer: Lord, help us to break the cycle of gossip and to think, speak, and act in a way that honours You and Your people. In Jesus’ perfect name, we pray. Amen.
Barrie, Ontario, Canada
Reprinted from the PresbyCan Daily Devotional with the author’s permission