“He who covers an offense seeks love, but whoever repeats a matter separates close friends.” Prov 17:9
Well, I don’t know about y’all – but between slander (yesterday) and gossip I am doomed. I might as well become a hermit and go live in a cave in Ethiopia somewhere.
Goodness! We are women and we like to talk. There are a million good things that come out of us talking – like love, support, encouragement, help, correction, wisdom, and a ton of useful information. But apparently not all talking is good. You know this instinctively.
So what is gossip? It is idle, unproductive talk about somebody else’s business. In the old King James English a gossip was called a “talebearer”… the one who repeats stories about the affairs of another.
There are many reasons why we might gossip: Trying to establish camaraderie with others (getting accepted into the group). Wanting to be the center of attention. Feeling superior to someone else. Envy. Boredom with your own life (too much idle time).
In Titus 2:3 we are specifically told to teach younger women to not be malicious gossips. And in I Timothy 5:14 we are told that too much free time often causes women to become busybodies! As our book notes, “It has been my own observation that those who are ardently pursuing their own goals and aspirations are less likely to spend time discussing the affairs of another.”
Gossip is not always mean. Sometimes it is a sincere interest in someone else.
But gossip is ALWAYS you talking about somebody else’s business when they are not there.
So maybe the simple gossip test is to ask yourself – Would I say that if she were here?
Let’s work at minding our own business. Don’t be a talebearers.
“A gossip (talebearer) goes around spreading rumors (revealing secrets), while a trustworthy man tries to quiet them.” Prov 11:13 TLB/NASB
30 Days to Taming Your Tongue, a Bible study by Deborah Pegues