I’m excited today to have a guest blogger, my husband, Dan! Through the decades of our ministry we have seen a common thread in many ministry, family, and individual issues: gossip. Many gossip (whether spreading OR hearing) without realizing it. However, as destructive as gossip is to the victim, the real story is that gossiping reveals more about the character of those spreading (and hearing) than it does about the one being gossiped about. Read on. We hope you will join in on the #GossipChallenge.
Gossip: Idle talk which foolishly or maliciously spreads rumors or facts. The effects of gossiping are divisive and destructive.
Matthew 12: 36-37, But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
Proverbs 20:19, He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: Therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.
Proverbs 25:9-11, Debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself; And discover not a secret to another: Lest he that heareth it put thee to shame, And thine infamy turn not away. A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
We are issuing a “No Gossip Challenge” to churches, pastors, and individuals. There may be a debate as to what constitutes gossip. The above definition and verses provides a good start. Gossip is having a conversation with anyone where you talk about someone or something (i.e. a ministry) where that someone or something is not present. It does not matter if what is being said is true and accurate or not. If the person is not present during the conversation, then it is most likely gossip. We are instructed in Matthew 12 not to have idle words as there will be an accountability before God for these words. We are also instructed in Proverbs 20 to not to deal with or listen to those who would be talebearers. The hearer of gossip is just as guilty in the sin of gossip as the talebearer. In Proverbs 25, we are instructed to not bring anyone else in a conversation that has nothing to do with the conversation. We also learn in Proverbs 25 that words should be “fit,” that is, they “fit” the right thing. If the words we speak are not fitting right, then they should not be said.
The challenge is this:
For 10 days:
- Do not talk or listen to any conversation where the person or ministry is not present.
- Do not begin any conversation with statements such as: Did you hear…? I heard… Did you know…? Would you pray about a situation involving person or ministry name here? I am concerned about person or ministry name here. I can’t believe what person or ministry name here did.
Take the next ten days and make this a reality.
Remember, no conversation about someone or using their name without the person being in your presence.
We would love for you to then share what you have learned or any comments you may have. Come back and share in the comments on the blogs. Share your experience on Facebook on the Hold Fast the Ministry page or on your own page using #GossipChallenge.
We are up for the #GossipChallenge. Are you?
 Manser, M. H. (2009). Dictionary of Bible Themes: The Accessible and Comprehensive Tool for Topical Studies. London: Martin Manser.
 The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Mt 12:36–37). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
 The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Pr 20:19). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
 The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Pr 25:9–11). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/95501481@N02/28206789833″>The Joy of Gossip (2016)</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>(license)</a>