Yesterday I was reminded again of the great and socially encouraged sin of the church – gossip.


I have never added a motive onto my definition of gossip; that I leave for slander or defamation. Loose tongues speaking negatively or suggestively about someone who is not present is gossip.

“If a person thinks that he is religious but can’t control his tongue, he is fooling himself. That person’s religion is worthless” (James 1:26 God’s Word).

James 3:5-10 goes to great length to describe the horror of a loose tongue and gossip:

“The tongue is a small part of the body, but it can brag about doing important things. A large forest can be set on fire by a little flame. The tongue is that kind of flame. It is a world of evil among the parts of our bodies, and it completely contaminates our bodies. The tongue sets our lives on fire, and is itself set on fire from hell. People have tamed all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and sea creatures. Yet, no one can tame the tongue. It is an uncontrollable evil filled with deadly poison.  With our tongues we praise our Lord and Father. Yet, with the same tongues we curse people, who were created in God’s likeness. Praise and curses come from the same mouth. My brothers and sisters, this should not happen!”

English: New Year's Day postcard. Reads: "...

New Year’s Day postcard. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Slander is gossip also, but a deliberately malicious form. I have seen many people destroyed (including me) by loose tongues repeating what they heard with the target not present to respond.

Gossip, alas, can also occur with the person present, which I have also seen. Here the false information is blurted out, the target responds proving it false, and the story repeats anyway, in front of them.

I leave it to James to set the standard for our conversation. Don’t be so lazy as to talk without thinking, or repeat without verifying or conjecture without foundational information.

Also, if Christians would abandon their love of juicy stories gossip would die because gossip needs an audience.

Stop listening – stop the gossip.