G is for Gossip
It may be the truth. It may be a vicious lie. Either way, gossip intends to hurt someone. And sooner or later, word will get around to you.
You may be the target of gossip. Or the rumors may be spreading about someone you’ve never met. What will you say?
Tips for stopping gossip:
There are a few things you can say to stop gossipers:
- Say “I try say only nice things about people who aren’t there.”
- “I wouldn’t want them talking about me behind my back like this.”
- “Why don’t you talk to them about this?”
- “How do you plan to help? “
Sometimes you need to blow off steam. That’s ok. Let your friend know you are upset. Tell them you just need to rant for a moment. You can also do this in a journal, or pray.
Afterwards, ask for advice on how to make things better. Do not go around to multiple people talking about how angry you are. If you are frustrated with someone, go to that person after you have cooled down.
It’s probably gossip if:
- You’re saying something hurtful about someone who’s not there.
- You’re talking about a problem you don’t intend to help with.
- You’re laughing at someone behind their back.
- You wouldn’t want someone else talking about you the same way.
Sometimes, there are exceptions.
What’s not gossip:
- Telling someone safe about a bully.
- Getting advice for how to deal with a tough situation.
- Getting help for a friend who is in trouble.
Be a good friend:
- Don’t spread rumors.
- Don’t say mean things about people who aren’t there.
- Don’t hang out with people who do.
“Do not run around as a slanderer among your people, and do not act against the life of your neighbor; I am the Lord.”
“A slanderer reveals secrets, therefore do not spend time with a gossip.”
“A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.”
Proverbs 11:13 (NIV)
“A perverse man spreads strife, and a slanderer separates intimate friends.”
“The north wind brings forth rain, and a backbiting tongue, angry looks.”
“The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts.”
Proverbs 18:8 (NIV)
“For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, contention quiets down. Like charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire, so is a contentious man to kindle strife. The words of a whisperer are like dainty morsels, and they go down into the innermost parts of the body.”
“Your tongue devises destruction, like a sharp razor, O worker of deceit.”
“Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.”
“It is just as cowardly to judge an absent person as it is wicked to strike a defenseless one.”
– Lawrence G. Lovasik
“Fire and swords are slow engines of destruction, compared to the tongue of a gossip.”