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Scripture Reading: Proverbs 26:20-26
Gossip: A Prideful Sin
1. Someone has quipped: “It's gossip when someone talks about us, but it’s just 'useful information' when we talk about someone else!”
2. Gossip: Idle talk, spreading rumors, esp. of private, personal affairs of others. Generally, it disrespects, belittles, distorts and maligns. Chatter of scandal; it damages reputations. It certainly does not express love, Rom. 13:8.
3. People are entertained by gossip (People Mag., social media bullying)
4. Negative consequences (cost) of workplace gossip (cf. a church).
I. THE NATURE OF GOSSIP.
A. Gossip is a Sin, 1 Pet. 4:15 (Prov. 26:17).
1. Void of love, mercy, kindness, gentleness, etc., 1 Cor. 13:4-7; Matt. 22:39; Gal. 5:22-23.
2. Show kindness, instead of kindling a fire, Prov. 31:26 (Jas. 3:5).
B. Gossip is Prideful: Elevates Self by Hurting Others, cf. Phil. 2:2.
1. The gossiper feels important (“I’ve got a secret!”), Psa. 101:5.
2. Tasty morsel, Prov. 18:8.
C. Gossip is Cowardly, Prov. 25:23.
“A backbiter will cut one down behind his back but will not say the same to one’s face. This is a coward’s coward whose method stirs anger and causes discord.” (Proverbs, Harkrider, 155)
D. Gossip Divides, Isolates and Harms, Prov. 16:27-28; 17:9.
1. Backbiting, tale bearing, slander is like a sword that cuts deep, Prov. 12:17-18.
2. Gossip damages relationships; it does not heal.
II. THE PERSON WHO GOSSIPS...
A. Is a Talebearer, Prov. 17:9. Not seeking love, but superiority.
B. Is Sowing Strife, Prov. 6:16, 19. Abomination to God.
C. Is a Busybody. Idleness invites gossiping: 2 Thess. 3:11; 1 Tim. 5:13. (Solution: Stay busy!)
“The term (gossip, jrp) originates from the bedroom at the time of childbirth. Giving birth used to be a social, ladies only, event, in which a pregnant woman’s female relatives and neighbours would gather. As with any social gathering there was chattering and this is where the term gossip came to mean talk of others.” ("If Walls Could Talk: The History of the Home (Bedroom)”, Lucy Worsley, BBC)
III. WHAT SHOULD WE DO IF WE ARE A GOSSIP? (Stop doing it!)
A. Remorse and Repent, 2 Cor. 7:10; 1 Jno. 1:9.
B. Repair the Damage You Caused, Matt. 5:23-24.
C. Renew Your Thinking, Rom. 12:1-2. Pure heart and constant monitor of the tongue, Phil. 4:8; Jas. 3:5-8.
IV. WHAT SHOULD WE DO WHEN SOMEONE GOSSIPS TO US? Prov. 18:6-8
A. Do not Listen to it, Prov. 17:4.
1. Do not enable gossip by giving it a listening ear (or text feed), cf. Prov. 20:19.
2. Way to end strife is to give gossip no quarter, Prov. 26:20, 22. Remove the wood from the fire,
B. Try to Help the Person Stop, Jas. 5:19-20; Gal. 6:1.
-Explain the sin, and try to help change the behavior (convert).
1. Gossip is “corrupt speech” that tears down, instead of building up, Eph. 4:29.
2. Speak the truth in love, not malicious words that distort, defame and destroy. (Eph. 4:15, 25)
Cost of Workplace Gossip (cf. the church, Eph. 4:2-3)
Lost productivity and wasted time,
Erosion of trust and morale,
Increased anxiety among employees as rumors circulate without any clear information as to what is fact and what isn’t,
Growing divisiveness among employees as people “take sides,"
Hurt feelings and reputations,
Jeopardized chances for the gossipers' advancement as they are perceived as unprofessional, and
Good employees leave the company due to the unhealthy work atmosphere.
-“Workplace Gossip”, Kit Hennessy, LPC, CEAP
By: Joe R. Price
Posted: August 30, 2017