Gossip is defined as casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about others, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true. It is the repetition of idle talk or rumors, especially about private affairs of others.
Everyone has a tongue and we use it every day. With this great opportunity to communicate -- not just what we say, but also what we text and type -- comes great blessings. But it can also present opportunities to misuse the tongue. James 3:8 says, "The tongue is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison."
We've all been affected by gossip in our lives. None of us are immune to it. We've all gossiped. We've all been told gossip. And we've all been gossiped about.
Why do people gossip? Prov. 18:8 says, "The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, and they go down into the inmost body." Let's not kid ourselves. Gossip is enjoyable to people. Talk shows, magazines in the check-out line at the grocery store, politics, sports. Gossip and rumors are what fuel much of what we consume from an entertainment perspective. But don't underestimate the damage caused by gossip.
So, ask yourself these questions to help you determine if you should repeat something you heard:
* Is it true? (Prov. 18:13, 17)
* If I repeat this, will it build up or tear down? (Rom. 14:19)
* Have I talked to the individual first? (Matt. 18:15)
* Have I examined myself first? (Matt. 7:3-5)
* How would I want to be treated? (Matt. 7:12)
There are so many good things we can spread and do with our words (Eph. 4:29-32). Let our words be filled with love, kindness and tenderheartedness.