Sunday, July 30, 2017
Whether we talk negatively about a person or simply keep our mouth shut has little to no impact on the other person.
But it does impact us.
While one could make the case that our negative talk runs the risk of ruining someone else’s reputation or lowering their esteem in someone else’s eyes, ultimately, the consequences fall on us alone.
More than likely, when we talk negatively about someone behind their back, the person receiving our information sees it for what it is, and takes it with a grain of salt. In other words, they take it as the gossip that it is.
So while we were hoping to "get in good" with one person at another's expense, in reality, we may only be denigrating our self.
And seeing as how almost everyone seems to drool at gossip, rarely does anyone ever hold anyone else accountable for gossiping, because most people want to ensure more gossip will be forthcoming. Thus, we are enabled in a very bad habit that is only bound to grow worse the more we are allowed to get away with it.
Now, if it gets to the point that we gossip too much—to the point of excess at which other people actually grow uncomfortable—we may notice people beginning to distance themselves from us. In that way, we may passively be held accountable. But it most likely will not be enough to stop the gossip, and we will simply find new ears that will hear us.
Ironic that gossip, intended to raise our selves up over other people, actually does the opposite.
Even though it is, in truth, sinning against someone else to gossip about them, it is also a sin against God.
And, don't get me wrong, people are hurt by our gossip. But we who are in the wrong will, in the end, be hurt by it even more. God will hold us accountable, because, unlike human beings who crave gossip, God condemns it.
Gossip is lustful, luring, mischievous, teasing, sportive and serpentine, and we are artful, cagey and clever in our justification of it.
In the coming days I’ll examine why we go there, and how to stop.
copyright Barb Harwood
“He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets,
Therefore do not associate with a gossip.” Proverbs 20:19
“He who despises his neighbor lacks sense,
But a man of understanding keeps silent.
He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets,
But he who is trustworthy conceals a matter.” Proverbs 11:12-13
“A perverse man spreads strife,
And a slanderer separates intimate friends.” Proverbs 16:28
“A fool’s mouth is his ruin,
And his lips are the snare of his soul.
The words of a whisperer are like dainty morsels,
And they go down into the innermost parts of the body.” Proverbs 18:7-8