Gossip…we all know what it is and it’s safe to say we’re all guilty of it sometimes…right? But…just to refresh ourselves, here’s what most dictionaries say about gossip: “idle talk or rumor especially about the personal or private affairs of others”. Our Bibles have a lot to say as well…“The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts.” (Prov 18:8). And if you think gossip is just limited to you or me talking, we would be wrong…gossip comes in the form of listening as well, “Wrongdoers eagerly listen to gossip; liars pay close attention to slander.” (Prov 17:4)
Each of us has a certain propensity for gossip…”Did you hear about_______”; “Can you believe what ‘they’ are doing?”; “Did you know ______?”. Gossip happens when 2 or more are gathered in most any place or event…it happens at school, at church, at work, at social gatherings. It happens when we don’t like how someone has acted or decisions have been made. It happens especially when we think we are the font of wisdom about a particular subject or situation. Let’s face it, gossip is something that not only happens but can be divisive and mean-spirited.
As Christians…people who claim to follow Jesus – which means we are also imperfect people…gossip is a hard habit to avoid or break. Paul offers us some words to ponder in this light from 1 Corinthians 1:10-17 – I’ve chosen The Message translation because it is a little more to the point.