All around us we are surrounded by instruments of gossip yet Christians are not to be part of it. This includes reports of secretes revealed on other people’s issues, scandalous reports that do not edify or glorify God, whether founded or not. These come to us through the internet, newspapers, television, etc. an environment that seems unavoidable. How does God expect Christian to behave in such an environment?
To answer this question, I will first define what gossip is according to the English dictionary and then dwell much on how the Holy Bible defines. Later I will conclude by giving suggestions on how to avoid being defiled by gossip and how to deal with it in case it is your bread and butter.
It is interesting how the Holy Bible definition of gossip differs from what a general English dictionary would.
Gossip is idle talk or rumor, especially about the personal or private affairs of others; the act of is also known as dishing or tattling. The definition that comes up when you search on Google says that it is a casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details which are not confirmed as true.
Holy Bible Definition:
It is going around as a slanderer among others (Leviticus 19:16; Proverbs 11:13; Proverbs 20:19). The Holy Bible describes gossip as a corrupt practice (Jeremiah 6:28) and a practice that makes the doer deserve to die (Romans 1:28-32).
Interestingly, the Holy Bible also indicate acts of gossip to a sign of the end times. This is according to 2 Timothy 3:1-5, “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than love of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people”.
An interesting article on the subject of gossip by Pamela Rose Williams suggests that “If you aren’t part of the problem or the solution, its gossip”. I support this thought and highly recommend it for Christians.
How should Christians behave?
There is no better guide that the Holy Spirit when it comes to such matters where a line has to be drawn. However, I have some suggestions to make:
- If you happen to read or hear about it, do not entertain it. It is good enough to know about it but do not be an agent of its spread. In fact, if you have a choice, avoid listening or reading about it.
- Be selective on the type of publications you buy. Some publications just live on gossip and that is their bread and butter. Such publications mostly target Christians, politicians, leaders, and other influential figures in the community. A good example is the website ‘The Kenyan DAILY Post’.
- Shun people that are known for gossiping. Remember that bad company corrupts good character (1 Corinthians 15:33).
- Pray for God’s guidance in case you are not sure what to do or how to react. It could an issue that you are highly interested in and you find it difficult for you to ignore. The best approach is to wisely approach the source of the gossip and address it from there. Be careful not to work at clearing your name by any other means but let your actions do that for you.
- Tough as it is to get a job, I do not recommend for Christians to work for publications that promote gossip. It should be your prayer as you live for God to give you a job that won’t contradict with your Christian beliefs. In case you already work for one already, you may want to request for redeployment to where gossip in not discussed and most importantly, pray to God to provide you with another job.
The life of a Christian is that of purifying oneself from the world (1 John 3:3). No one can reach a state of perfect purity but an effort is made to be like Christ, who was perfect in holiness and righteousness. Gossip is one thing people will judged on when they face God after this life (Hebrews 9:27). Do not take it for granted but work at eliminating its snare in your life.