Some of the most damaging words in the world are “Did you hear…” because you often know that what follows is going to be gossip, at least in many circles, and unfortunately it has become the normal way of life in our country. The thing about gossip is that it damages more than just the person it is said about and more than just the person spreading it; Gossip is damaging to families, communities, and as we are seeing, entire countries.
Let me explain it this way: There is a reason we are instructed in Ephesians 4:29 to “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” We are to watch what we say, and unfortunately the Church is not exempt from this epidemic. James put it this way in verse 1:26, “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.”
Gossip is damaging to the Church, it can tear God’s people apart at the core, and many people tend to go out and share their findings within the community with these words, “Did you hear” about this person or that person or this problem or that problem. Paul said it this way to the Philippian Church, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things (4:8).”
Where it is most evident in our country today is within the political realm. We hear candidates who are out to spread vicious lies and rumors to try and gain an upper hand in the race they are in…why? This is why I would encourage you to pray about God’s guidance in who you should vote for.
We should not join in gossip; we should not spread anything malicious about anyone, even if we heard it from his or her lips. Our lives are not to see how many people we can destroy with our words about them in settings where they do not belong…and our jobs as Christians is to build up and glorify the Name of Jesus…We are to be examples of who Christ is…not examples of why He had to come and give His life to offer salvation.
Today I challenge you as Paul did Timothy, “But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness (2 Tim. 2:16).” Do not join in, rise above…do not lead others into ungodliness, lead them to God.