Christians are particularly bad at gossiping – they do it in the name of prayer, which makes it worse.
They share some information about someone and then mention that they need prayer. Do not do it. Unless someone has asked you to share information about them, keep it to yourself. Even if someone asks you about the person, don’t say anything – it’s not your info to pass on, it IS GOSSIP.
Although it might seem very unjust, if someone has wronged you in any way, even verbally told lies about you and put you in a bad light you are not allowed to say anything that will put them in a bad light. You are not allowed to slander them, even if they have slandered you! I am using the word slander in the way the bible intends it, not how the oxford English dictionary defines it!
In the Old Testament when the word slander is used, it has often been translated from the Hebrew word meaning ‘ to defame or to strip one of his positive reputation’ In the New Testament, the word for slander is made up from two words, one meaning ‘to speak’ and the other meaning ‘against’. So when you see the word slander in the bible it means the open and intentional sharing of damaging information about someone, whether the information is accurate or not!
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesian 4:29-32)
If you say anything derogatory about them, even if it’s true, it is not in line with God’s word. You can tell one or two of your closest friends, if you need prayer support, but examine your motives for telling them before you do so. It is the motive behind the telling which is crucial. If you are passing the negative information about behaviour because you need support of some kind yourself, that’s fine.
But if you are passing on the info because you want people to know that they are horrible, don’t do it! You need to forgive them and leave God to administer justice.
It’s hard and we need to ask God for his help on an hourly basis to make sure our speech is pleasing to Him.
Do you agree or disagree with Pauline? Let her know by making a comment below!