Well, I'm on my soapbox today. Why is it that we love gossip so much?
I'll be the first to say that there have been times in my life I have been the worst to participate in gossip. I knew it was something I needed to work on and I've been praying about it for awhile.
Did you hear what so and so said? Did you know so and so said this?
It's so easy to buy into that. A lot of times we try to say well I listened to it, but I didn't spread it so it's ok. WRONG. Same thing and just as bad. Listening to gossip is equivalent to encouraging gossip.
My strategy lately has just been to respond by saying: I wasn't there so I actually don't know what happened or what was said and I don't need to know unless it comes from that person.
Or, I just walk away.
If you have questions about something that happened, discussing your doubts or whatever with someone else who wasn't involved, that's just as bad. If you have questions, ask the person involved or don't ask at all. Don't make assumptions--just go directly to the person involved.
Gossip hurts people. Most people who become depressed or commit suicide because of bullying weren't physically bullied. They were most often bullied by words--by gossip.
Your words are so powerful. We should choose wisely which words we use. We should pray about our words. Our words should build people up and not tear them down. Gossip always tears down. Just walk away from it. People won't get mad at you for it. I think you'll find that they end up thinking more highly of you for not participating.
A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.
For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases. As charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife. The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body.
And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.