Gossip

* Harmful effects of gossip

Making up or spreading false reports were strictly forbidden by God. Gossip, slander, and false witnessing undermined families, strained neighborhood cooperation, and made chaos of the justice system. Destructive gossip still causes problems. Even if you do not initiate a lie, you become responsible if you pass it along. Don’t circulate rumors; squelch them. (NLT)

Exodus 23:1 – “Do not pass along false reports. Do not cooperate with evil people by telling lies on the witness stand.”

* Lying about someone is vicious. Its effects can be as permanent as those of a wound. The next time you are tempted to pass on a bit of gossip, imagine yourself wounding the victim of your remarks with a sword. This image may shock you into silence. (NLT)

Proverbs 25:18 – Telling lies about others is as harmful as hitting them with an ax, wounding them with a sword, or shooting them with a sharp arrow.

* An idle person who doesn’t work ends up filling his or her time with less than helpful activities, like gossip. Rumors and hearsay are tantalizing, exciting to hear, and make us feel like insiders. But they tear people down. If you often find your nose in other people’s business, you may be underemployed. Look for a task to do for Christ or for your family, and get to work. (NLT)

2 Thessalonian 3:11-12 – Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and wasting time meddling in other people’s business. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we appeal to such people—no, we command them: Settle down and get to work. Earn your own living.

* Dealing with gossip

At time we may be surrounded by people who gossip about us or criticize us. Verbal cruelty can damage us as badly as physical abuse. Rather than answering with hateful words, we, like David, can talk with God about the problem. (NLT)

Psalm 57:4 – I am surrounded by fierce lions who greedily devour human prey—whose teeth pierce like spears and arrows, and whose tongues cut like swords.

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