Gossip: idle talk or rumor, especially about the personal or private affairs of others.
If you could be honest, I’m sure there have been times in your life
As Christians, many of us tend to cover up our gossiping ways. You claim that the basis of the conversation is to help the person “in need,” but if you’re talking about someone behind their back, it’s gossip. And gossip is not of God.
Gossip’s spread with impure intentions of betrayal and dishonesty. It does no good; in fact, it results in conflict and mistrust. God tells us in the Bible countless times to refrain from the sin of gossiping.
Zipping your lips is easier said than done because we live in a culture where companies like TMZ and The Shade Room capitalize on gossip. This world has wholly normalized gossip to the point that we don’t even realize when we’re doing it anymore.
However, no matter how tempted you may be to share someone else’s story, as love abiding Christians, we need to stop! The tongue is a powerful tool that is used to bless others. And the bible clearly states that we can’t bless someone out of the same mouth that you curse out of.
So with that said, today I’m sharing nine practical tips to overcoming gossip.
- Take a beat before speaking. When you pause before you talk, you allow two things to happen. The first being that a pause gives you time to not act out on emotion triggered by the topic. Secondly, it provides space for the Holy Spirit to lead you in the conversation so that you speak with purpose rather than curses.
- Pray. If you desperately need to talk to someone about what was shared with you in confidence, take it up to God. He is fully capable of taking on those burdens to provide peace, healing and any other resolution that’s needed. God can also provide you with what’s required to help that person. Run to Him before you run to another.
- Surround yourself with people who aren’t plagued with the spirit of gossip. If two or more gossipers are in a room together, they’re more than likely going to gossip. However, if there’s only one who gossips in a place amongst people who stand firm in minding their own business, there’s no one to gossip with.
- Replace the gossip with positivity. Growing up my mom would say, “if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” You can’t control what someone else says but you can control what comes out of your mouth. When presented with gossip, change the tone of the conversation with positivity. You have the power to change the narrative to uplift another, hear their troubles or share the current state of your life.
- Don’t seek the tea. I’m guilty of this one. Do you find yourself asking a friend to update you on the life of another friend? Stop doing that; you’re setting yourself up to partake in a conversation that is not of God. If you really want to know what’s going on in that person’s life, ask them yourself.
- Redirect the gossip to the one it’s about. When approached with tea, let the gossiper know that you want no part in it and can’t participate in a conversation unless the person who’s being talked about is there. They need to take that info to the person in the discussion.
- Don’t take in what you can’t handle. Look, it’s best to cut the weed at the root so that it won’t grow. If you can’t yet respect someone’s privacy, let that person know that it’s best that you don’t hear it at all. Out of sight, out of mind.
- Stay away from gossip sites. Yes, that means you may have to block The Shade Room on Instagram. Gossip sites have played a massive part in normalizing gossip. Did you know that by reading the latest rumor about a celebrity you’re participating in gossip?
- Get busy. When your busy tending to the portion that God’s blessed you with, you won’t have the time to be in other people’s business.
You don’t have to be a slave to gossip. You can control what you say and take in when you enlist the strength of God.
My prayer for everyone who reads this post is that the chains of gossip be broken in your life. That you only allow the words that the Holy Spirit leads you to say flow out of your mouth. You have the strength to control your tongue and be slow to speak with the power of God within you. Give him control and everything will be controlled!
Let me know how you avoid gossip in the comments below. If you’d like to personally discuss, send me an email directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.