“A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much.”
It can appear so harmless. A few choice words about the other person, a remark spoken as a quick aside, and we give a negative impression of someone. A chat about someone behind their back, and you are closer to your friend that you are talking to. The gossip seems to cement us in horrible ways that do not reflect the character of God.
If you relate something to another person, you must know it will get out there some way of other. No one is reliable and as situations change, people change too and their relationships come and go. People get the permission of history to gossip about others. Prejudices grow…
Someone said “gossip kills” We might never murder someone in the body, but we kill their character and murder their reputation really easily. The tongue is such a monster and it is attached to our brains. What we think about other people is important, as it comes out in our speaking. Even if the things are true, they do no good to us. We must always leave everything we see and hear with God. Only He can sort this stuff out.
“….If anyone doesn’t stumble in word, the same is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body also. Indeed, we put bits into the horses’ mouths so that they may obey us, and we guide their whole body. Behold, the ships also, though they are so big and are driven by fierce winds, are yet guided by a very small rudder, wherever the pilot desires. So the tongue is also a little member, and boasts great things. See how a small fire can spread to a large forest! And the tongue is a fire. The world of iniquity among our members is the tongue, which defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature, and is set on fire by Gehenna.”
James recognises the problem straight away. He is talking about faith related to works, and speaking is part of that. Our speech and manner of talking should reflect our faith, not justifying ourselves, or excusing what we are saying. How we speak is also important, not roughly, accusingly or stubbornly. Our speech should always be tempered with the Spirit of God.
We should cut down the talking, certainly about other people. How can we say meaningful things when the other person is not there to explain, or defend themselves !? Even if the person doesn’t hear us, they will still know by our manner towards them. We often speak down to people, we don’t really respect them, and pride is a great problem for us all. It’s better to say nothing. It’s better to not understand the person, than try to thrash it out with a third party, who is only human and doesn’t know what the other person is going through either. It is better to not analyse others, because we don’t know their situation, mindset or motivations. It’s too easy to judge.
No one tells a gossip anything of importance and no one wants to be friends with a gossip. If we gossip we show ourselves as untrustworthy and lacking in discretion. We will simply gather people around us who do the same things and even lead others astray by our nasty talk.
We all need to be discrete and think about what we say to other people. Some information is too much for people, and needs to go to God, alone. This builds our relationship with Him, and strengthens our trust in Him as a person, and keeps our hold on His character. We see more clearly what God is like and we are attracted to Him and want to be like Him. Gossip destroy all that and keeps us always earth- bound.
Talking all the time is no good. It’s a bad sigh when someone else can’t get a word into the conversation. We should have time for each other, and speak words of hope and healing, not destruction. The tongue has the fire of hell on its tip. We keep it at bay, by keeping good conversations with God our Father, and leaving our misunderstandings there with Him.
“A perverse man stirs up strife. A whisperer separates close friends.”
“A gossip goes around telling secrets, but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence.”
Proverbs 11:13 NLT
“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”
Ephesians 4:29 KJV