Gossip is “evil” in that it is an activity that violates the command (not an option) of the Word of God found in Eph. 4: 29.
Simply put, Eph. 4: 29 are saying that if you don’t have something good to say, keep your mouth shut! Informing 3rd parties does not edify the one’s involved.
In order for the “cycle of communication” to be completed, it takes one party to willfully speak, and at least one more party to willingly listen.
Without the participation of BOTH parties, the SIN of gossip cannot move forward, and the James 3: 6 fire may even get extinguished.
Bearing false witness (Exodus 20: 16) and slander (Lev. 19: 16) were among the sins addressed in the Law of the Old Testament. Such Old Testament Law are among the commands of God that are still in effect, here in the Church Age (Matt. 5: 18/Matt. 12: 36).
Libel is slander in a written or published form. Offenders who engage in slander or libel can be held accountable in both the courts of Man and in the Court of Heaven (Matt. 12: 36).
Many rationalize, and in doing so, self-justify the sin of gossip by taking the position that it acceptable, as long as what they say (or pass along) is factually true, in of itself. Eph. 4: 29 say otherwise.
In more cases than not, gossip may have some truth in it, but like a rolling snowball, the story gets bigger as it rolls along, picking up the assumptions, presumptions, and conclusions of those who hear it and pass it along.
We are all familiar with the “parlor game” in which one person reads a brief statement to a second person. The statement is then passed along, but orally, to the remaining members of the party.
When it has been orally told to the last person, he writes it down. When the last statement is compared to the first, the story usually has under gone many changes.
Proverbs 18: 8 teach how gossip goes down deep in the body. Be it the truth or not, the gossip will forever leaves its mark on how others will look at that person being spoken of from that point forward.
God will forgive (1John 1: 9) and forget (Heb. 8: 12). Man “may” forgive, but usually will never forget.
A person can spend a lifetime doing good deeds, but it will be his failures that most people will remember. It is the failures, true or alleged, that make most of the headlines because it is the negativity that most people want to hear.
Gossip is like releasing a handful of small feathers on a windy day. Once released, they can never be taken back. No one knows how far gossip will travel, or the harm that it will do. In the worst case scenarios, homicides and suicides have been the result of gossip.
Gossip, can also involve factually true information, when the purpose for repeating the information is NOT for the edification (teaching/discipline) of the one(s) involved.
Discussing the sins of others, when not for the purpose of edification, is the classical example of this form of gossip.
According to the Lord Jesus Christ, loving one’s neighbor as one loves himself (Matt. 22: 39) is the second greatest commandment in the Word of God.
In order for one to obey this command, one must apply the Golden Rule (Matt. 7: 12).
If you would not your sins to be the topic of discussion, then one should obey the Golden Rule and not make the sins of others the topic of discussion.
James 1:26 teach that the religion of the one who cannot control his tongue is worthless. Ouch!
Luke 8: 18 warn us to take heed as to how we choose to listen.
When socially interacting, gossip can feel like the natural (Romans 8: 7) thing to do.
The life of discipleship, however, is not about what comes natural, but what is required of us as ambassadors (2Cor. 5: 20) of Christ, with the enabling power (John 15: 5) that He provides.
In closing, be it in the capacity of the one who is doing the talking or the one who is doing the listening, there is just no room for gossip in the spiritual lives of those who bear His name.
This article, in its original form was posted as a Challenge Article on Faithwriters.com