The words of a gossip are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly. Proverbs 18:7-8
This has been difficult to write as I can be a guilty party in gossiping. I often participate in these harmful conversations with good intentions of understanding a friendship, out of care, or maybe even to vent. At some point my humanness gets the best of me and I’m not able to control my tongue and pride.
My conversations become prideful by allowing myself to feel more of a wife, mother, friend, or colleague. Or I can feel like the more trusted friend because I was the first to know about something intimate. Or perhaps I just want to be seen as “right” by telling my side of the story. I’m sure there are many other examples. (In our church circles you can even occasionally see this in the guise of praying for each other, having the appearance of godliness in our gossip.)
It’s all a snare. There are many verses on the dangers of sharing secrets, causing dissention, and gossiping. It does damage to our relationships and hearts. So before we speak, we need to be sure we know our own intent in our conversations with others. It should always be to live humble and peaceful lives. The Golden Rule has been a great guide for me in my conversations – “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophet.” Matthew 7:12
Dr. Beth Ackerman is the Associate Dean, School of Education, at Liberty University. Learn more about Liberty University here.
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