Why Do People Love Gossip?
"The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, and they go down into the inmost body." Proverbs 26:22 The Word of God tells how deeply a person can be hurt by gossip - the words sink down to the inmost heart of a person. How people love gossip! Stories being spread are like sweet delicacies, but most don't stop to consider that what's being said may not be true or it may be exaggerated. A person's whole reputation can be ruined by a gossiper bearing a false or embellished story. Why do people love gossip? Isn't it because a story about someone doing wrong makes ME feel better? If so-and-so is stealing, I feel better because I don't steal. If so-and-so is cheating on his/her spouse, it makes me feel better because that's something I'm not doing, so I feel that I'm better than him/her. The lust for juicy stories of people going wrong always makes me feel better about myself if I'm not doing what he/she is reportedly doing. But this is an illusion. We are all sinners, every one of us, and if hearing stories about someone else's sin comforts me because I don't practice that sin, then I am deceived because I'm convincing myself that I'm a better person who would NEVERRRR do that! But what if MY sins were being spoken about me? Would I not go into a rage and defend myself? Would I not say that what is being said is a gross exaggeration? And if what is being said is true, would I not make an excuse to diffuse the accusation? Oh fools that we are! Gossip is like tasty trifles - as long as it is about someone else. What folly! Those who belong to Christ are called to a higher place, the place from which we truly care about others as much as we would care about ourselves, the place where hearing gossip would offend me as much as would a story about myself. "And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise." Luke 6:31 There is a principle in the Word of God that tells us that whatever we sow, that we shall also reap. "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap." Galatians 6:7 The principles of the Kingdom of God are sure and unchangeable. Therefore guard a person's reputation as you would guard your own, lest you reap the same coming upon you. But how does one do that? It's so very easy to fall into discussion about someone else. The answer is to ask God to put HIS love for people into your heart. Nothing but love can stop a damaging word about someone. If you find yourself in a situation wherein someone is being gossiped about, say something good about that person. Sometimes that will change the tenor of the conversation. If that is not accepted, then change the subject entirely. Do not allow yourself to become part of tale-bearing ...lest tale-bearing come back upon you. "Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2