For some reason the topic of “gossip” has been on my mind pretty heavy lately. Whether on a large or small scale, I think it’s safe to say we’ve all fallen victim to having a line or two being told about us or even worse, we’ve spread something that we probably shouldn’t have about someone else.
How do you know when you’re gossiping? Well according to the Bible, a gossiper is someone who reveals secrets. A gossiper is a person who has privileged information about people and proceeds to reveal that information to those who have no business knowing it. Gossip is distinguished from sharing information in two ways:
1. Intent. Gossipers often have the goal of building themselves up by making others look bad and making themselves look like some kind of repository of knowledge.
2. The type of information shared. Gossipers typically share only the faults and failings of others, or reveal potentially embarrassing or shameful details regarding the lives of others without that person’s knowledge or approval. Even if they mean no harm, it is still gossip.
A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man [or woman] who talks too much” (Proverbs 20:19). One group that the Bible speaks about are widow Paul cautions widows against entertaining the habit of gossip and of being idle. Paul states that widows get into the habit of going from home to home, looking for something to occupy their idleness. Idle hands are the devil’s workshop, and God cautions against allowing idleness to enter our lives. These women are described as “gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to” (1 Timothy 5:12-13). Because women tend to spend a lot of time in each other’s homes and work closely with other women, etc. they hear and observe situations which can become distorted, especially when repeated over and over.
I don’t know about you but I know some women who aren’t widows who can be described the same way and I’ll bet you do too. I think the take-away from this is that we, as women, need to be careful not to become idle.
What do you think? Well, Gossiping isn’t something that only women do. Stay tuned to Part 2…