The Trouble With Gossip

Hi everyone! It’s been so long since I’ve last written, and a lot of that is to do with figuring out how to put my words together. Gossip is something that both gals and guys struggle with. The biggest problem with gossip is that a lot of times, we don’t even realize we’re doing it. As a person who is guilty of this, I can tell you that it’s an ugly habit to notice and difficult to stop unless you know how to recognize it.

When I look back on times that I’ve gossiped, I realize two things: usually it stems from talking about someone in a group, and it almost always is negative. Once one person starts to gossip, it begins a downward spiral of more and more negativity until every person is finding a way to chime in. Eventually, we all end up talking about someone without knowing how it will effect them.

One of the biggest problems with gossip is the way it creates rumors. Every time someone talks about another person, they are passing on second-hand information. It’s like thinking a secondary source is more accurate than a primary source. The more information gets passed around, the more it can get stretched. Suddenly, whatever we are talking about isn’t the truth anymore; it’s far from it. The truth ends up becoming lies and finally, the person being talked about has rumors spread about them that are completely false. It’s our responsibility to stay truthful to the situation at hand, and passing it around to others never makes it better.

Another issue with gossip is that we talk about things with people who are not originally involved. Sometimes it feels good to get something off your chest or express how you’re feeling about your day. We dig ourselves a hole when the things we say are hurtful and/or unhelpful to the person we are talking about. If what we say  has even the smallest chance of being taken negative, it shouldn’t be said. I was listening to an awesome podcast from The Porch (go check it out!) about gossip. One of the main points in that podcast is if you have talked about someone without them being there, you need to talk to them about the issue within 24 hours. This really stuck out to me because not only do you stop the gossip chain, but you talk directly to the person that it’s affecting. If we decided to be direct with the people we are upset with, it would solve a lot of our problems.

Lastly, gossip ruins relationships. When someone is talked about behind their back, most of the time it gets back to them. We all mess up and I have been in situations before where I end up hurting someone I really love and care about because I talked about them outside of their presence. Something we can do to avoid hurting others is not chiming in at all. If someone starts talking about another person, we need to be aware of the situation and not get ourselves involved. Any person that takes part in a gossip conversation involves themselves in the issue and makes the problem bigger. We also avoid spreading the rumors further by not participating. Another tactic even better than not participating is shutting it down. By calling out gossip, we can stop ourselves from hurting each other. Even if we are gossiping and start the conversation ourselves, we can outwardly recognize it and stop our negative actions. It can make a huge difference in the way we converse with our friends and create a positive environment.

The reason I wrote about this is because I’m just as guilty as the next person. When I’ve taken part in gossip or started it, by the end I would feel worse about myself than before I brought it up. I never realized why I felt so guilty or ugly until I noticed it was the Holy Spirit convicting me. Ephesians 4:29 says “let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Our words are supposed to bless others and create community, not break it. We are not created to use our words for negativity. It breaks God’s heart that we use our words to put each other down. Proverbs 18:1-8 says “there are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.” 

The Bible is very clear on how God wants us to treat one another. It’s really easy to talk about someone, and we will never be perfect at destroying gossip. The best thing we can do is know how much it effects us and how important it is to keep our hearts kind towards one another.

Thanks for tuning in today, may you be inspired to make a difference in someone’s life today!

xo, Brynne