It’s said that some people will believe anything if it’s whispered to them. Do you find that to be true? I often do, especially when it comes to gossip.
Why are we often prone to talk about people behind their backs? Especially when we hate it when people talk about us behind our backs. It’s a crazy cycle.
I believe it’s a sneaky tool our enemy, the devil, uses to cause division in our families, churches, and friendships. We need to fight against it in every area of our life.
If you, like me, have been guilty of gossiping a time or two, or if it’s an ongoing problem, here are three steps to help you quit.
Don’t be a gossip; it’s a sin.
Well, how about that, Captain Obvious? Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of this point. Sometimes the most obvious answer is the absolute best.
The Bible teaches us to avoid filling our lives with gossip because it’s everything but godly. It says, “Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God… Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip.” (Romans 1:28-29)
For you, quitting the gossip might be extremely difficult. Maybe talking about others behind their backs is the primary subject of most of your conversations, and if you stop, you might not have anything to discuss.
It might help you to know that God hates gossip. The Bible says, “There are six things the Lord hates— no, seven things he detests: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family.” (Proverbs 6:16-19)
A “person who sows discord in a family” is a gossip. God hates it. I bet your family and friends hate it too. It’s time to stop adding logs to the fire. The Bible says, “Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down.” (Proverbs 26:20)
Let go of jealousy and pride.
These two issues are often the root of the gossiping problem.
It’s rooted in jealousy because we are bothered that others have what we think we should.
It’s rooted in pride because we elevate ourselves above others in how they live.
The Bible says, “If you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.” (James 3:14-16)
Gossip has caused more disorder and evil in relationships, families, and churches than just about anything. It’s severed relations and cut deep wounds into the hearts of many. All because of our personal ego.
It’s not God’s kind of wisdom. “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.” (James 3:17-18)
That’s how we should act.
Celebrate the wins of others.
If you want to keep gossip, jealousy, and pride out of your life, this is the one main ingredient, the special sauce, and the secret recipe.
The Bible says we are to “rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” (Romans 12:15)
Do you know what that means? It means we celebrate the good things going on in someone else’s life. We get excited about their success, not jealous. We start talking about people in a positive and encouraging way.
And if something drastic happens in their life, or they make a terrible decision, we care enough to mourn for them. But we don’t talk like they deserved it.
When you start to share in the wins and losses of others in a godly way, it leaves no time for gossip. Try it; it will change every relationship you have.