Idle Gossip

Some people think gossip is a good thing.

According to an article from the WebMD News archives…

“New Friends May Bond by Dishing Negative Gossip
Gossip is getting a juicy new buzz in an unlikely source: an academic journal. Forget the tabloids. Inquiring minds will find the latest scoop on gossip in the journal Personal Relationships. The journal’s June edition includes a study on gossip and friendship. The main finding: “Mildly negative gossip may help cement new friendships.”

Have you ever been the topic of gossip or know someone who has? If so, you are probably quite familiar with the resulting hurt and demoralization.

R. G. LeTourneau was for many years an outstanding Christian businessman—heading a company which manufactured large earth-moving equipment. He once remarked, “We used to make a scraper known as Model ‘G’. One day somebody asked our salesman what the ‘G’ stood for. The man, who was pretty quick on the trigger, immediately replied, “I”ll tell you. The ‘G’ stands for gossip because like a talebearer this machine moves a lot of dirt and moves it fast!”

The issue of gossip is repeatedly addressed in both the old and new testaments. The Scriptures make clear that “the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean’” (Matthew 15:18).

gossip is a person who spreads rumors or idle, fruitless tales. The apostle Paul described some of the early believers as “not only idle but gossips [tattlers, KJV] and busybodies” (1 Timothy 5:13). Jesus said, “For every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment” (Matthew 12:36).

James’ discourse on the ‘tongue’ speaks volumes;

We all make many mistakes. If people never said anything wrong, they would be perfect and able to control their entire selves, too. When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can control their whole bodies. Also a ship is very big, and it is pushed by strong winds. But a very small rudder controls that big ship, making it go wherever the pilot wants. It is the same with the tongue. It is a small part of the body, but it brags about great things.

A big forest fire can be started with only a little flame. And the tongue is like a fire. It is a whole world of evil among the parts of our bodies. The tongue spreads its evil through the whole body. The tongue is set on fire by hell, and it starts a fire that influences all of life. People can tame every kind of wild animal, bird, reptile, and fish, and they have tamed them, but no one can tame the tongue. It is wild and evil and full of deadly poison. We use our tongues to praise our Lord and Father, but then we curse people, whom God made like himself. Praises and curses come from the same mouth! My brothers and sisters, this should not happen. Do good and bad water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree make olives, or can a grapevine make figs? No! And a well full of salty water cannot give good water.
James 3:2-12, NCV

Those who are lost to God will always try to convince you that “it’s just a little thing” and that “it’s all good”. But what does God have to say about it?

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight!
Isaiah 5:20-21, RSV

People did not think it was important to have a true knowledge of God. So God left them and allowed them to have their own worthless thinking and to do things they should not do. They are filled with every kind of sin, evil, selfishness, and hatred. They are full of jealousy, murder, fighting, lying, and thinking the worst about each other. They gossip and say evil things about each other. They hate God. They are rude and conceited and brag about themselves. They invent ways of doing evil. They do not obey their parents. They are foolish, they do not keep their promises, and they show no kindness or mercy to others. They know God’s law says that those who live like this should die. But they themselves not only continue to do these evil things, they applaud others who do them.
Romans 1:28-32, NCV

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