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Guarding Against Gossip (Part 1). Gossip is the Devil’s Speech dia,boloj diabolos : slanderous, accusing falsely

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guarding against gossip part 1
Guarding Against Gossip (Part 1)
  • Gossip is the Devil’s Speech
  • dia,bolojdiabolos: slanderous, accusing falsely
    • Revelation 12:10 10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night.
    • Job 1:8-11 8 The LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil." 9 Then Satan answered the LORD, "Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 "Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 "But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face."
guarding against gossip part 11
Guarding Against Gossip (Part 1)
  • slan·der

1. defamation; calumny: rumors full of slander.

2. a malicious, false, and defamatory statement or report: a slander against his good name.

3. Law . defamation by oral utterance rather than by writing, pictures, etc.

4. to utter slander against; defame.

5. to utter or circulate slander.

  • Origin: 1250–1300;  (n.) ME s ( c ) laundre  < AF esclaundre,  OF esclandre,  alter. of escandle  < LL scandalum  cause of offense, snare ( see scandal); (v.) ME s ( c ) laundren  to cause to lapse morally, bring to disgrace, discredit, defame < OF esclandrer, deriv. of esclandre
guarding against gossip part 12
Guarding Against Gossip (Part 1)
  • gos·sip

1. idle talk or rumor, esp. about the personal or private affairs of others: the endless gossip about Hollywood stars.

2. light, familiar talk or writing.

3. Also, gos·sip·er, gos·sip·per. a person given to tattling or idle talk.

4. Chiefly British Dialect . a godparent.

5. Archaic . a friend, esp. a woman.

6. to talk idly, esp. about the affairs of others; go about tattling.

7. Chiefly British Dialect . to stand godparent to.

8. Archaic . to repeat like a gossip.

  • Origin: bef. 1050;  ME gossib, godsib ( be ), OE godsibb,  orig. godparent, equiv. to god God  + sibb  related; see sib (sib 1. related by blood; akin. 2. a kinsman; relative. 3. one's kin or kindred. 4. Anthropology . a unilateral descent group.)
guarding against gossip part 13
Guarding Against Gossip (Part 1)
  • —Synonyms 1.  small talk, hearsay, palaver, chitchat. Gossip, scandal  apply to idle talk and newsmongering about the affairs of others. Gossip  is light chat or talk: to trade gossip about the neighbors. Scandal  is rumor or general talk that is damaging to reputation; it is usually more or less malicious: The town never lived down the election scandal. 3.  chatterer, talker, gabbler, rumormonger. 6.  chatter, prattle, prate, palaver.
guarding against gossip part 14
Guarding Against Gossip (Part 1)


My name is gossip. I have no respect for justice.

I maim without killing. I break hearts and ruin lives.

I am cunning and malicious and gather strength with age.

The more I am quoted, the more I am believed.

I flourish at every level of society.

My victims are helpless.

They cannot protect themselves against me because I have no name and no face.

To track me down is impossible.

The harder you try, the more elusive I become.

I am nobody's friend.

Once I tarnish a reputation, it is never the same.

I topple governments and wreck marriages.

I ruin careers and cause sleepless nights, heartache, and indigestion.

I spawn suspicion and generate grief.

I make innocent people cry on their pillows.

Even my name hisses. I am called gossip, party gossip,

Telephone gossip, and don't forget CHURCH gossip.

I make headlines and headaches.

Before you repeat a story, ask yourself, is it true? Is it fair? Is it necessary?

If not, please be quiet.

the o t words for gossip
THE O.T.Words for Gossip

A. Backbiter

1. Ragal - "One who goes about maliciously as a slanderer, one who speaks maliciously about another.“ (Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament). Psalm 15:1-3

2.Sether - "A secret slanderer, or hidden gossip, one of a sly tongue."

Proverbs 25:23

B. Slanderer

1. Dibbah - "Whispering, defamation, evil report, to spread a rumor,

to slander." Prov. 10:18

2. Lashan - "To use the tongue boldly (in an evil sense); hence, to

slander, to backbite." Psalm 101:5

C. Talebearer

1. Nirgan - "Wrong speech (evil secret) hence; a whisperer, a backbiter, a

gossiper." Prov. 18:8

2. Rakil - "A slanderer, defamer, detractor." Lev. 19:16; Prov. 11:13; 20:19

D. Whisperer

1. The Hebrew word "Nirgan" which means "a backbiter, a talebearer, a gossiper."

Proverbs 16:28

2. Thus, in the King James Version there are four English words translated from six Hebrew


the o t passages for gossip
THE O.T.Passagesfor Gossip
  • The unrighteous is identified by their hateful speech (gossip either starts with hate or results in hate)

Leviticus 19:16-18 16 'You shall not go about as a slandereramong your people, and you are not to act against the life of your neighbor; I am the LORD. 17 'You shall not hate your fellow countryman in your heart; you may surely reprove your neighbor, but shall not incur sin because of him. 18 'You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD.

  • lykir' rakil: slander, talebearer
the o t passages for gossip1
THE O.T.Passagesfor Gossip

II. The righteous are identified by their pure speech (one of the ways they fear the Lord)

  • Psalm 15:1-5 O LORD, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill? 2 He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, And speaks truth in his heart. 3 He does not slander with his tongue, Nor does evil to his neighbor, Nor takes up a reproach against his friend; 4 In whose eyes a reprobate is despised, But who honors those who fear the LORD; He swears to his own hurt and does not change; 5 He does not put out his money at interest, Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.
  • lg"r' ragal: to go about on foot
the o t passages for gossip2
THE O.T.Passagesfor Gossip

III. Some of the greatest hurt/pain in life is inflicted by evil tone/words

  • Psalm 31:11-18 11 Because of all my adversaries, I have become a reproach, Especially to my neighbors, And an object of dread to my acquaintances; Those who see me in the street flee from me. 12 I am forgotten as a dead man, out of mind; I am like a broken vessel. 13 For I have heard the slanderof many, Terror is on every side; While they took counsel together against me, They schemed to take away my life. 14 But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD, I say, "You are my God." 15 My times are in Your hand; Deliver me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute me. 16 Make Your face to shine upon Your servant; Save me in Your lovingkindness. 17 Let me not be put to shame, O LORD, for I call upon You; Let the wicked be put to shame, let them be silent in Sheol. 18 Let the lying lips be mute, Which speak arrogantly against the righteous With pride and contempt.
  • hB'DIdibbah: whispering, defamation, evil report
the o t passages for gossip3
THE O.T.Passagesfor Gossip

IV. Gossip is hard to stop – once it gets going it has a life of its own

  • Psalm 35:11-21 11 Malicious witnesses rise up; They ask me of things that I do not know. 12 They repay me evil for good, To the bereavement of my soul. 13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth; I humbled my soul with fasting, And my prayer kept returning to my bosom. 14 I went about as though it were my friend or brother; I bowed down mourning, as one who sorrows for a mother. 15 But at my stumbling they rejoiced and gathered themselves together; The smiters whom I did not know gathered together against me, They slandered me without ceasing. 16 Like godless jesters at a feast, They gnashed at me with their teeth. 17 Lord, how long will You look on? Rescue my soul from their ravages, My only life from the lions. 18 I will give You thanks in the great congregation; I will praise You among a mighty throng. 19 Do not let those who are wrongfully my enemies rejoice over me; Nor let those who hate me without cause wink maliciously. 20 For they do not speak peace, But they devise deceitful words against those who are quiet in the land. 21 They opened their mouth wide against me; They said, "Aha, aha, our eyes have seen it!“
  • [r'q' qara: to tear
the o t passages for gossip4
THE O.T.Passagesfor Gossip

V. We often hurt the greatest, the people we lost the most (family)

  • Psalm 50:16-23 16 But to the wicked God says, "What right have you to tell of My statutes And to take My covenant in your mouth? 17 "For you hate discipline, And you cast My words behind you. 18 "When you see a thief, you are pleased with him, And you associate with adulterers. 19 "You let your mouth loose in evil And your tongue frames deceit. 20 "You sit and speak against your brother; You slander your own mother's son. 21 "These things you have done and I kept silence; You thought that I was just like you; I will reprove you and state the case in order before your eyes. 22 "Now consider this, you who forget God, Or I will tear you in pieces, and there will be none to deliver. 23 "He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me; And to him who orders his way aright I shall show the salvation of God."
  • rb;D' dabar: to speak (against)
the o t passages for gossip5
THE O.T.Passagesfor Gossip

VI. We are to not be close friends with gossipers – be holy (separate)

  • Psalm 101:4-8 4 A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will know no evil. 5 Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will destroy; No one who has a haughty look and an arrogant heart will I endure. 6 My eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me; He who walks in a blameless way is the one who will minister to me. 7 He who practices deceit shall not dwell within my house; He who speaks falsehood shall not maintain his position before me. 8 Every morning I will destroy all the wicked of the land, So as to cut off from the city of the LORD all those who do iniquity.
  • !v;l' lashan: to use the tongue, slander
the o t passages for gossip6
THE O.T.Passagesfor Gossip

VII. Remember that the Lord is a perfect judge and that perfect justice is coming – evil men with evil mouths will be judged

  • Psalm 140:8-13 8 "Do not grant, O LORD, the desires of the wicked; Do not promote his evil device, that they not be exalted. Selah. 9 "As for the head of those who surround me, May the mischief of their lips cover them. 10 "May burning coals fall upon them; May they be cast into the fire, Into deep pits from which they cannot rise. 11 "May a slanderer not be established in the earth; May evil hunt the violent man speedily." 12 I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted And justice for the poor. 13 Surely the righteous will give thanks to Your name; The upright will dwell in Your presence.
  • vyaiish!Avl' lashon“Man of tongue”
the o t passages for gossip7
THE O.T.Passagesfor Gossip
  • Gossiping/Slander, course language, or cursing are all indicative and fitting for a fool
  • Proverbs 10:18-20 18 He who conceals hatred has lying lips, And he who spreads slander is a fool. 19 When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, But he who restrains his lips is wise. 20 The tongue of the righteous is as choice silver, The heart of the wicked is worth little.
  • hB'DIdibbah: whispering, defamation, evil report

IX. Gossiping is the biggest way to endanger or ruin your friendships

  • Proverbs 16:28 28 A perverse man spreads strife, And a slanderer separates intimate friends.
  • !g"r' ragan: to murmur, whisper
  • Proverbs 17:9 He who conceals a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates intimate friends.
the o t passages for gossip8
THE O.T.Passagesfor Gossip

X. Resolve to have nothing to do with gossip or slander – speak up against it

  • Proverbs 20:19 He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets, Therefore do not associate with a gossip.
  • lykir' rakil: slander
  • Proverbs 30:7-14 7 Two things I asked of You, Do not refuse me before I die: 8 Keep deception and lies far from me, Give me neither poverty nor riches; Feed me with the food that is my portion, 9 That I not be full and deny You and say, "Who is the LORD?" Or that I not be in want and steal, And profane the name of my God. 10 Do notslandera slave to his master, Or he will curse you and you will be found guilty. 11 There is a kind of man who curses his father And does not bless his mother. 12 There is a kind who is pure in his own eyes, Yet is not washed from his filthiness. 13 There is a kind-- oh how lofty are his eyes! And his eyelids are raised in arrogance. 14 There is a kind of man whose teeth are like swords And his jaw teeth like knives, To devour the afflicted from the earth And the needy from among men.
  • !v;l' lashan: to use the tongue, slander
abort gossip bound conversations by affirming the person being slandered
Abort gossip-bound conversations by affirming the person being slandered
  • After three years of research, Indiana University Sociologist Donna Eder identified an important dynamic involved in gossip. Eder discovered that the initial negative statement was not the starting point for gossip. The critical turning point was found in the response to the initial negative statement. “She’s a real snob” is not the start of gossip. It’s when someone else agrees that the gossip fest begins. Eder found that the key is whether or not a negative statement is “seconded.” If a second is provided, gossip ensures. If not, the conversation changes direction. “No one ever challenged an evaluation that had been seconded. Conversely, no matter how cutting the opening remark, an immediate quibble from a listener could send talk into a less critical direction.” The moral, you can abort gossip-bound conversations by quickly affirming the person being targeted for negative comments.”

(McHenry’s Quips, Quotes, and other Notes – p. 117)

  • There’s a parable on gossip which illustrates the irreparable damage that it causes to individuals and the church. It goes like this: A young man spread a rumor that later proved to be misleading about an elderly preacher. The rumor split the church and created a scandal. The young man later apologized and asked what he could do to atone for his wrong. The preacher took a feather pillow under his arm and escorted the boy to the top of the church tower. The wind tugged at their hair and flapped at their clothing as they looked at the village and the fields below. The preacher handed the young man the pillow and said, “Rip it open.” The boy was perplexed, but he did as he was told. Instantly the wind seized the feathers, tossing them in flurries about their heads, then spread far and wide as thousands of feathers began falling beyond the village settling on sidewalks, in hedges, streams, trees, and among deep grass. “Now,” said the preacher, “go and collect all the feathers and put them back in the pillow.” “All of them?” “All of them!” “But that’s impossible,” said the young man. Placing his hand on the boy’s shoulder, the preacher said kindly, “I know. I wanted you to realize how impossible it is to retrieve a rumor once it is made.” Yes, gossip causes irreparable damage.
guarding against gossip part 2
Guarding Against Gossip (Part 2)

New Testament Passages concerning gossip and slander

  • Introduction – Many years ago the Moody Church News carried a humorous story about a woman in a small town who was know for being a gossip. One day on vacation she visited the offices of The Chicago Daily News. She was wearing a white dress and inadvertently leaned against a wall where a freshly printed copy of the front page was hanging. It was a hot, humid day, and some of the print came off on the back of her white dress. Later, as she walked down the street to meet her husband, she noticed that people walking behind her were snickering. When she reached the place where her husband was waiting, she asked him if there was anything on her back that shouldn't be there. As she turned around, he read the large black reversed letters: sweNylaiD. Realizing the appropriateness of the words, he said, "No, dear, nothing's on your back that doesn't belong there."

(Our Daily Bread, June 23, 1994)

scripture reading
Scripture Reading
  • Colossians 3:8-10 8 But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, 10 and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him–
  • Colossians 4:5-6 5 Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. 6 Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.
gossip is distinguished from sharing information in two ways
Gossip is distinguished from sharing information in two ways:

1. Intent. Gossipers often have the goal of building themselves up by making others look bad and exalting themselves as some kind of repositories of knowledge.2. The type of information shared. Gossipers speak of the faults and failings of others, or reveal potentially embarrassing or shameful details regarding the lives of others without their knowledge or approval. Even if they mean no harm, it is still gossip.

n t words for gossip slander
N.T. words for gossip/slander

A. Whisperer1. psithurismos (psithurismos) - "Lit., to speak into one's ear (in an evil sense); hence, secret slander, backbiting." (Thayer's and Vine's Lexicons). Used only in 2 Cor. 12:20; Rom. 1:29-30

B. Backbite1. katalalos (katalalos) - "To slander, to speak evil of, to backbite; synonymous to whisperer, only more open." Again, used only in 2 Cor. 12:20; Rom. 1:29-30.

C. Busybody1. periergazomia (periergazomia) - "Lit., to be working round about, instead of at one's own business (peri, "around," ergazomia "working"); signifies, to take more pains than enough about a thing, to waste one's labor, to be meddling with or bustling about other people's matters." 2 Thess. 3:11; 1 Tim. 5:11-15

D. Meddler1. allotrioepiskapos (allotrioepiskapos) - "Lit., another's overseer; an overseer of the business belonging to another, a busybody." 1 Pet. 4:15 - "Meddler in other men's matters" all from this one word.

E. Prating1. phluareo (phluareo) - "To bring unjustified charges against, malicious gossip, unfounded rumors." 3 John 10

F. Tattler1. phluaros (phluaros) - "The adjective of phluareo (prating), and means: to prat against another; to raise false accusations; to gossip about another." 1 Tim. 5:13 

the n t passages for gossip
THE N.T. Passages for Gossip
  • Our sinful speech is a major part/reason for God’s just condemnation and wrath against sinful men

Matthew 15:18-20 18 "But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. 19 "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.20 "These are the things which defile the man; (Mark 7:22)

  • blasfhmi,ablasphemia – slander, evil speaking, abusive language, to revile, to speak lightly or profanely of sacred things
the n t passages for gossip1
THE N.T. Passages for Gossip

II. Gossip/slander are characteristic/identifiers of unbelievers

  • Romans 1:28-31 28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30slanderers,haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful;
  • Gossip - yiquristh,jpsithuristes: a whisperer
  • Slanderer - kata,lalojkatalalos: a defamer, kata – against, laleo “to talk = “to talk against”
the n t passages for gossip2
THE N.T. Passages for Gossip

III. We should respond and react to others evil speech the way Jesus did

  • 1 Corinthians 4:11-13 11 To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless; 12 and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; 13 when we are slandered,we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now.
  • Conciliate -parakale,wparakaleo: to call to or for, to exhort, to encourage
the n t passages for gossip3
THE N.T. Passages for Gossip

IV. Gossip and slander must be repented of and reconciliation sought after

  • 2 Corinthians 12:19-21 19 All this time you have been thinking that we are defending ourselves to you. Actually, it is in the sight of God that we have been speaking in Christ; and all for your upbuilding, beloved. 20 For I am afraid that perhaps when I come I may find you to be not what I wish and may be found by you to be not what you wish; that perhaps there will be strife, jealousy, angry tempers, disputes, slanders,gossip, arrogance, disturbances; 21 I am afraid that when I come again my God may humiliate me before you, and I may mourn over many of those who have sinned in the past and not repented of the impurity, immorality and sensuality which they have practiced.
  • dusfhme,wdusphemeo: to use evil words, to speak ill of
  • yiqurismo,jpsithurismos: a whispering
the n t passages for gossip4
THE N.T. Passages for Gossip

V. Gossip and slander must be continually guarded against and put off/thrown off

  • Ephesians 4:31-32 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
  • blasfhmi,ablasphemia: slander
  • Colossians 3:8-10 8 But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander,and abusive speech from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, 10 and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him—
  • blasfhmi,ablasphemia: slander
how to get off spiritual junk food by john macarthur p 117 119 how to get the most from god s word
How To Get Off Spiritual Junk Food by John MacArthur (p.117-119 How to Get the Most From God’s Word)

One reason so many Christians suffer from spiritual malnutrition is that they live on a diet of junk food, as far as building spiritual character is concerned. Peter is well aware of this and that’s why he says: “Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking” (1 Pet. 2:1). The Greek word used for “laying aside” actually means to “strip off your clothes.” The same idea is expressed in Hebrews 12:1 where we are told to “lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us.” Peter talks about five specifics that we should strip out of our lives: malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander.

Malice was the general word for wickedness. In Peter’s day it meant “heathen evil”—the characteristic evil of the world surrounding the young Christian church. Peter doesn’t advise laying aside some of it; he demands all of it to go. Today’s Christians are no different than those in the first century. Many of us like to play at Christianity and keep worldly practices and values in our lives. But there is no place in the Christian’s life for the garbage of the world.

A young man once approached a great Bible teacher and said to him, “Sir, I’d give the world to know the Bible as you do.”

The teacher looked him in the eye and said: “And that’s exactly what it will cost you!” If we want to grow, if we want to develop to our full potential, then each of us has to look inside to recognize those worldly remnants and scraps that we are hanging on to, which are hampering growth and maturity.

All deceit also has to go, says Peter. At the root of deceit is impure motives; and this leads to conscious deception of others. But deceit always costs you in the long run, while honesty always pays.

This is a hard lesson to teach children. I tell my own children, “It’s really a lot more expensive to lie, because every time I catch you in a lie you are going to be punished much more severely than if you told me the truth.” I’ve had to prove this on occasion, and it’s always a hard lesson for everyone—for me to teach and for them to learn—but it’s worth it.

Hypocrisy is another attitude Christians should purge from their lives, just as people would abstain from junk food. Hypocrisy is a natural outgrowth of deceit. Non-Christians always like to point out that the church is full of hypocrites, and unfortunately they are right.

Christians sometimes reply to this charge by saying that the church—where people can hear the gospel and learn about the Bible—is the best place for hypocrites. But as Peter plainly shows us, we can’t be content with merely saying, “It’s good to be in church where we’re learning to deal with our hypocrisy, deceit, malice, and other problems.”

Never be content with keeping this garbage in your life. Strip it off! There is no place in the life of a sincere Christian for hypocrisy. If a Christian glibly excuses his hypocrisy, he is taking advantage of God’s grace and is a greater hypocrite.

Envy is a fourth attitude that must be purged from a Christian’s life. Reduced to its basic components, envy is simply self-centeredness. Envy is always the last attitude to die, because it only dies when the self dies. As most Christians know, the self is hard to kill.

How many churches have been wrecked, how many missionary organizations have been riddled with dissension, how many families have been destroyed, all by envy? In his letter, James joins Peter in warning Christians about the demonic influence of envy: “But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there” (James 3:14–16).

Slander of every kind (evil speaking) is a fifth attitude that has to go. In a word, Peter is telling us, “Quit your gossiping.” Gossip just might be the most attractive sin for Christians. We all clatter concernedly over gossip; and we nod vigorously when the preacher condemns it from the pulpit. Yet on the way home, or even while walking to the car, after church has let out, we start gossiping. We are very clever, of course, to mask our gossip behind words such as: “I’m so concerned about Mary”; or “Can you fill me in a little, so I can pray about it?” Far too much gossip goes on under the guise of prayer.

It is worthwhile to note how all of these five items of “spiritual junk food” are all on one large menu. Each attitude seems to feed the other, just as they nourish the Christian who keeps them in his diet. The fruit of malice is very often deceit or guile; and deceit and guile lead to hypocrisy, which, in turn, produces the envy. Then the fruit of envy often leads to evil speaking—slanderous gossip. The trouble is, of course, like all junk food this garbage tastes good. We’ve acquired a real taste for these evil habits; and it’s hard to break them. What we need is to start feeding on something else to change our taste buds; and that’s what Peter talks about next.

the n t passages for gossip5
THE N.T. Passages for Gossip

VI. Saturation with Scripture/truth is one sure way to have increasing victory with our speech

  • 1 Peter 2:1-3 Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander,2 like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, 3 if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.
  • katalalia, katalalia: evil-speaking
the n t passages for gossip6
THE N.T. Passages for Gossip

VII. Women are especially prone/tempted to gossip and need to guard against their natural/fleshly instinct/desire

  • NAU 1 Timothy 3:11 Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things.
  • dia,bolojdiabolos: slanderous, accusing falsely
  • NAU 1 Timothy 5:13 At the same time they (young widows) also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention.
  • flu,arojphluaros: babbling
  • NAU Titus 2:3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good,
  • dia,bolojdiabolos: slanderous, accusing falsely
questions to ask ourselves to avoid gossip when talking about others
Questions to ask ourselves to avoid gossip when talking about others
  • Will I help or hurt the person's character by repeating this information?
  • Would it be better left untold, even if true?
  • Will anyone be edified if I repeat this information? (Prov. 11:13)
  • What is my motive for telling it?
  • Am I really seeking to build or destroy, to hurt or heal?
  • Will I cause unnecessary suspicion to surround the person by repeating the information? (Psalm 101:5; If so, I become guilty. An old saying: "You can never build yourself up by tearing others down.")
  • Is the information true? Is there any basis for it? Is it rumor or innuendo?
  • Will anyone be made better by telling it?
  • Is the information about something which has been repented of and stopped? (If so, it should be left alone.)

10. Will I help the one who is spreading the rumors by receiving what he is telling? (Prov. 26:23)

questions to ask ourselves to avoid gossip when talking about others1
Questions to ask ourselves to avoid gossip when talking about others

11. Do I want to be an accessory in the commission of a sin against another by receiving information which I should not be privy to? (1 Tim. 5:22, remember, "There are always two sides to every controversy.")

12. Will I feel better towards the one being talked about by hearing the things being spread by a gossiper?

13. Am I assisting in strengthening the character of one whom I allow to gossip about others?

14. Can I, in good conscience, say that I am a friend of one from whom I receive information about the wrong doing of another?

15. When I hear about the wrong doing of another, am I not obligated to go to that person? (Matt. 18:15-17; Gal. 6:1).

16. Do not I do much evil by, instead of going to that person, beginning to mention his wrong doing to others?

17. Am I not responsible for the unfaithfulness of others when they have been hardened through my spreading unfounded charges about them, or by listening to others who do it?

18. How many people have left active service to Christ because of unfounded charges and allegations made and received by others? (Prov. 18:19)

the n t passages for gossip7
THE N.T. Passages for Gossip

VIII. Gossip and slander will only get worse during the End Times

  • 2 Timothy 3:2-5 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.
  • dia,bolojdiabolos: slanderous, accusing falsely
the n t passages for gossip8
THE N.T. Passages for Gossip

IX. Don’t be surprised when unbelievers slander and gossip about you – their father is the father of lies, the accuser/slander (devil)

  • 1 Peter 2:12 12 Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.
  • katalale,wkatalaleo: to speak evil of
the n t passages for gossip9
THE N.T. Passages for Gossip

X. It is possible not to gossip and slander because Jesus set for us an example for us to follow and enables us through the power of the Holy Spirit

  • 1 Peter 2:21-24 21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 22 WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH; 23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; 24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.
the n t passages for gossip10
THE N.T. Passages for Gossip

XI. While it is possible not to sin with our speech – it is extremely hard and daily challenge/fight. Struggle well with God’s power as the hardest thing in the Christian life is to not justify your sin based on others sin and to not sin in response to others sin

  • 1 Peter 3:8-9 8 To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; 9 not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.
the n t passages for gossip11
THE N.T. Passages for Gossip
  • XII. Remember we are here to reach unbelievers with the gospel – that is our mission – therefore don’t ever talk in a way that could hinder our gospel message/testimony for Jesus Christ.
  • 1 Peter 3:10-16 10For, "THE ONE WHO DESIRES LIFE, TO LOVE AND SEE GOOD DAYS, MUST KEEP HIS TONGUE FROM EVIL AND HIS LIPS FROM SPEAKING DECEIT. 11 "HE MUST TURN AWAY FROM EVIL AND DO GOOD; HE MUST SEEK PEACE AND PURSUE IT. 12 "FOR THE EYES OF THE LORD ARE TOWARD THE RIGHTEOUS, AND HIS EARS ATTEND TO THEIR PRAYER, BUT THE FACE OF THE LORD IS AGAINST THOSE WHO DO EVIL." 13 Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED, 15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; 16 and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered,those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.
  • katalale,wkatalaleo: to speak evil of
  • 1 Peter 2:12 12 Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.
  • XII. Remember we are here to reach unbelievers with the gospel – that is our mission – therefore don’t ever talk in a way that could hinder our gospel message/testimony for Jesus Christ.
  • 1 Peter 3:10-16 10For, "THE ONE WHO DESIRES LIFE, TO LOVE AND SEE GOOD DAYS, MUST KEEP HIS TONGUE FROM EVIL AND HIS LIPS FROM SPEAKING DECEIT. 11 "HE MUST TURN AWAY FROM EVIL AND DO GOOD; HE MUST SEEK PEACE AND PURSUE IT. 12 "FOR THE EYES OF THE LORD ARE TOWARD THE RIGHTEOUS, AND HIS EARS ATTEND TO THEIR PRAYER, BUT THE FACE OF THE LORD IS AGAINST THOSE WHO DO EVIL." 13 Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED, 15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; 16 and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered,those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.
  • katalale,wkatalaleo: to speak evil of
  • 1 Peter 2:12 12 Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.
  • Gossip is Satan’s tool of destruction.Satan is the inventor and initiator of gossip. In the very beginning Satan used slander in an attempt to destroy the reputation of God in the eyes of Eve by accusing God of evil motives (Genesis 3:1-5). He accused Job of weakness before God (Job 1:1). So it’s no wonder that, as we mentioned earlier, that Satan is called “the devil” or “the accuser.”Christians who gossip are being used by Satan to destroy the church from within. Knowingly or unknowingly, Christians are pawns of Satan when they accuse brethren and create distrust and disunity within the family of God—the church; they, like puppets, are being manipulated in an attempt to frustrate the mission of Christ. We must recognize the destruction that gossip brings to the church; not only must we keep our own mouths closed, but we must also close the mouths of others. Since Satan uses gossip to destroy a congregation, we must not allow it to go unchecked.
  • 1 Peter 2:12 12 Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.
We must be aware of the common techniques used by gossips in order to recognize when gossip is introduced into a conversation.
  • There’s the blunt technique:Someone may say, “I don’t have much use for brother so-and-so,” and then proceed to give his reasons. This type of gossip doesn’t attempt to hide his dislike, and he may even say, “And I’d say so to his face.”
  • There’s the frankness technique:Some people pride themselves in being open and honest, usually prefacing their gossip with the statement, “I’ll be very frank with you about this.” However, expressing one’s desire to be frank doesn’t give him a license to injure or destroy another child of God.
  • There’s the “I heard...” or “They say...” technique:This is a very common approach, because it allows the gossip to protect his source; usually the gossip won’t dare reveal the identity of his informer. However, when a person presumes to pass on information which may damage another’s character, he’s actually under obligation to God and truth to reveal his source. For example, Paul gave specific names and places to establish the truthfulness of his information to the church at Corinth: “Some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you” (NIV throughout).
  • There’s the subtle technique:A positive statement is made about someone which is then followed by a list of negatives. One may say, “Yes, she’s a nice girl. Pity about her habit of...,” and then proceed for ten minutes to run her down in a “kindly” sort of way. By this method one can appear sympathetic to the condition of someone while destroying him at the same time. Then...
  • There’s the pseudo-spiritual technique:This method is usually used by a “spiritually minded” member; it might begin, “Jane needs our prayers. She has problems controlling the flesh,” then it’s followed by a total analysis of Jane’s weaknesses so that others may pray more intelligently for her.

One or more of these techniques may be used to destroy another’s reputation; even with the use of pious platitudes under the guise of love one may engage in talebearing which is malicious and destructive.

the results of gossip are devastating in any arena especially in the church
The results of gossip are devastating in any arena, especially in the church.

Gossip destroys the morale of the body. Leaders are tempted to become indecisive because of accusations. Members become discouraged and withdrawn from one another. Cliques are formed, unity is destroyed, and the work of the Lord is thereby hampered. Gossip can cause one to become hyper-sensitive to the opinions other people have about him. He becomes timid and unwilling to step out and do something because it may not meet with the approval of certain people in the congregation. In this way a gossip can cause a congregation to become dormant. People lose confidence in one who continually gossips. In the course of time, the talebearing of the gossip will eventually destroy his own reputation. A wise person will avoid a gossip because if he criticizes others in his presence, then he’ll certainly criticize him in the presence of others.Ultimately the result of gossip is damnation to the soul. In Romans 1:28-32 Paul said that “gossips [and] slanderers ... deserve death.” In James 4:11, after writing a chapter on the tongue, James said, “Do not slander one another.” In First Peter 2:1, Peter plainly demanded Christians to rid themselves of every kind of slander. Gossiping is placed in a list of sins right along with drunkenness in Titus 2:3. And Jesus said that the words we speak in this life will judge us in regards to our future (Matthew 12:37).

what motivates a child of god to gossip
What motivates a child of God to gossip?
  • Some people find it enjoyable to learn about and discuss the faults of others:Proverbs 26:22 and 18:8 say, “The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts.”
  • Some people have a critical heart, so critical words proceed from a critical heart:Luke 6:45 reads, “The evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart.” A person who is filled with critical thoughts about others finds it difficult to keep from putting these thoughts into words.
  • Some people pride themselves on being good judges of character:They gain self-esteem by assessing the character of other people to their peers. Often this skill is real only in the minds of those who think they have it. Using this supposed skill builds up the pride of the gossip and destroys the reputation of its victims.
  • Some people, feeling intimidated by those who are more righteous than they are, gossip because of feelings of guilt for their own sins:Such people, consciously or unconsciously, think that by destroying another’s reputation that they will appear to be more righteous. This should remind us of First John 3:12: “Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous.”
  • Some people gossip because of the attention they get for creating a sensation:Have you ever stumbled across a bit of devastating news about an important figure, for example, and couldn’t wait to share it with someone else because you became the center of attention?
  • Some people gossip because they’re lured into it by listening to the gossip of others:If we listen, we get hooked; if we insist on listening, we feel compelled to contribute, and contributions is what keeps the rumor mill turning and causes the rumors to change as they go. S
application how can we overcome gossip
Application: How can we overcome gossip?

Don’t listen to gossip.When we listen to it, we increase the gossip’s sense of importance. I know this is difficult advice to follow, because it’s embarrassing to cut someone’s gossip off mid-stream. We need to be tactful, but straightforward. We could simply state that we have no interest in making the failures of others a topic for discussion and ask to change the subject. If we make the break clean, we won’t only strengthen ourselves, but we’ll also cause our friends to search their own consciences.Examine ourselves and confess to God and those we have sinned against.Are we absolutely sure of the facts? Do we know the context in which any given statement or action was made? Is the gossip real or imagined? Does it spring from a sin in someone or simply from a personal pet peeve? We need to deal with the feeling of criticism while it’s still on our minds by going to God in prayer before we talk about it to anyone else. Is there a beam in our own eyes? Do we become upset about the actions of someone else because they reflect our own personal weaknesses? What’s the best way to deal with this problem? Is there a scriptural way of dealing with it? Obviously, as mentioned in passing earlier, if we have a genuine, justifiable criticism of a person, we must take it to that person, not allowing others to deter you. Jesus said, “‘If your brother sins [against you], go and show him his fault just between the two of you. If he listens, you have won your brother’” (Matthew 18:15). Much of the destruction caused by gossip would be avoided if we would just follow this one command of our Lord. We should determine to speak only words which would build up the one we’re talking to: Paul wrote, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29).

  • Winston Churchill exemplified integrity and respect in the face of opposition. During his last year in office, he attended an official ceremony. Several rows behind him two gentlemen began whispering. "That's Winston Churchill." "They say he is getting senile." "They say he should step aside and leave the running of the nation to more dynamic and capable men." When the ceremony was over, Churchill turned to the men and said, "Gentlemen, they also say he is deaf!"

(Barbara Hatcher, Vital Speeches, March 1, 1987)