Gossip is one of the most destructive things we can bring into any relationship. We have this belief that gossip is subtle when in all actuality it is nuclear. It is not a scud missile that brings destruction to the designated area it has been released upon. It is a nuclear bomb that demolishes everything in it’s wake. It’s effects last years and takes time for life to return to what it was before. We then live in the aftermath of what our words have released upon our own world.
This is valuable to understand because we feel that we will come out unscathed. We believe if people are gossiping to us then they won’t be gossiping about us. Be careful with this train of thought. Those who gossip to you about others will eventually gossip about you to others!
I want to approach this thinking by listing six ways to know you are gossiping:
1. If you’re involved in conflict with another person, and you find yourself talking to everyone other than who you are in conflict with… it’s probably gossip.
2. If you are just venting to friends and you are not seeking counsel to have a productive conversation with the person you’re in conflict with… it’s probably gossip.
3. If you’re seeking counsel and you don’t keep the person’s identity private… it’s probably gossip.
4. If you enjoy sharing this information about another… it’s probably gossip. Gossip is tasty (Proverbs 18:8). Seeking counsel in a broken, difficult situation is good, but it is painful, not enjoyable.
5. If the tone of your voice is not meek, humble, and broken-hearted when you share or if you feel angry and righteous… it’s probably gossip.
6. If you’re not talking to God about this person as much as you’re talking to your friends… it’s probably gossip.