Ep.936: Does Gossip Really Hurt Anyone?
Tracing and countering the devious role of gossip
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Theme Scripture: James 3:8-9
Gossip – is it ever useful or good or is it always a waste of time and bad? Have you ever stopped to consider just how much of our present culture not only accepts it but places it in the enviable and important position of being a core and driving value of our everyday existence? Think about just how many publications, TV programs, talk shows and news items are driven by such idle or malicious talk. Now think about how much of our conversations at our work place or with our friends revolve around gossip. If you see it as I do, we are relentlessly inundated with gossip at every turn. So, what can we do about it? What should we do about it? How can we reduce its role in our lives and what should we replace it with?
Okay, so in the previous paragraph we gave away our position on the value, more accurately the utter lack of value, that gossip brings. To us, gossip is a useless and damaging blabbing of information that has no positive and up-building value regarding the person being spoken of or to anyone else, for that matter. After all, if you were talking about someone in glowing terms and describing their character or actions, who would call that gossip? Better yet, who would really be bending their ear to listen? The fact i,s most of us would rather hear something stinging or juicy or scandalous about a third party and not something complimentary, inspiring or courageous about them. See, gossip has no redeeming value. Interestingly, gossip has been around for thousands of years and the Bible in both the Old and New Testaments pretty convincingly squashes the idea of idle talk about others.
That being said, the next thing to isolate is the “why” of this problem. Why do we speak in such a way? What drives us to intentionally (or sometimes unintentionally) say things about others that reflect badly upon them and in many cases may not even be true? Sadly, there are many answers to this question- only one of which we will address here: This can be a defense mechanism. It can be used as a tool of unfair comparison. You know what I mean…there is that person who always seems to do a little better than you or makes more money than you or seems to grab the limelight instead of you – they always seem to get the best of you. Gossip can be an equalizer – you spread uncomplimentary or odd or questionable ideas about them and now others perceive them in a lesser light...and that gives you a better shot at being perceived in a better light. Not good!
How do we manage this common, contagious and life-poisoning dilemma? Please access our September 19, 2016 broadcast, “Does Gossip Really Hurt Anyone?” Check out the various circumstances under which gossip rears its ugly head. But more importantly, follow along with us as we reveal the several concrete steps that the Bible lays out to not only fight but overcome gossip. Once you listen then tell others what you heard – I promise it won’t be gossip!