“But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:17). “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made.” And the serpent [gossiped] and said unto the woman, “Ye shall not surely die” (Genesis 3:1, 4). As you see from the serpent’s intentional misrepresentation of Genesis 2:17, words [changing one word] could be devastating.
Rumor and gossip are synonymous and the Bible has a lot to say about it. What is gossiping? It is unconfirmed stories widely shared and most likely not factual. Why? A juicy lie sounds better than the truth. As stories spread each person has liberty to share their version to keep gossiping alive.
Have you ever been a participant in gossiping? If so, how did you feel in the midst of it? If you are a gossiper, why betray those who trust and confide in you? Do you not feel any compassion for those you negatively talk about? I am not happy to say this but when I was young and ignorant, I foolishly participated in this ungodly behavior by association (I Corinthians 15:33-34).
We know what is morally and spiritually right but sometimes we must walk in other people’s shoes to keep our gossiping demon on a leash. I was horrified to overhear those I respected negatively talking about me. Note, I said that I heard their words from their mouths, not from another source. To this day, they don’t know it, nor do I have a reason to discuss it with them. People, I have been snake bitten many times by gossipers; therefore, my inner circle is kept to a minimum. No, this is not a sin. Jesus had an inner circle (Matthew 17:1). Scripture warns us against spreading rumors and those who engage in gossip. Proverbs 20:19 says, “A gossip betrays a confidence so avoid anyone who talks too much.”
HOW TO STOP GOSSIPING? The antidote for spreading rumors can be found in Proverbs 26:20, it reads, “Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down.” We can never stop all rumors but we can refuse to participate. We should not give into our sinful natures by enjoying and possessing juicy information that would gain us ungodly attention. We must recognize the selfishness of that desire and repent (Psalm 19:14).
When someone tells you something about another person, or tells you what someone said about you, stop them and say don’t tell me what someone said about me, tell me why they felt comfortable telling you. It works!
Minister Felton D. Woods’ sermon titled “Think Before You Speak” can be heard on Facebook at fb.me//SermonsofFeltonDWoods
“Do not be misled; “Bad company corrupts good character. Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God; I say this to your shame” (I Corinthians 15:33-34).
“We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, and able to keep their whole body in check. When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire and itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olive, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring product fresh water” (James 3:2-12).