“Whoever derides his neighbor has no sense, but the one who has understanding holds his tongue. A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.” Proverbs 11:12-13
It has been said that the average person spends about one-fifth of his or her life talking. That means that if all of our words were put into print, the result would be that a single day’s words would fill a 50-page book, while in a year’s time the average person’s words would fill nearly 100 books of 200 pages each!” Think about that. What would your books say about how you communicate?
The first twelve verses of James 3 zero in on the importance of watching what we say. They point out the power of the tongue and how easy it is to be inconsistent. “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.” (James 3:9-10).
In this context, one challenge many of us face in controlling our tongues is the temptation to gossip. To gossip is to spread private or sensitive information, whether rumors or true facts, and usually with malicious intent. While it can be very tempting to engage in conversations along the lines of, “Hey, did you hear such and such about so and so…” we need to remember that gossip is always wrong because it violates God’s command to love our neighbors as ourselves.
Proverbs 16:28 says, “A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.” And Proverbs 26:20 says, “Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down.”
If you want to promote peace in your home, your church, your school, your workplace, and your community you will do well to heed the Bible’s admonition to avoid gossip.
Having begun as a guest speaker in 2005, Dan was appointed Interim Pastor in 2008 and has been serving Maple Root Baptist ever since. As a small group leader and Chaplin for the Connecticut Tigers, Dan has a heart for the lost and the God that saves them.