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THE TRAGEDY OF GOSSIP
By Brent Lewis

You never treat your brother worse than when you gossip about him. Though it was many years ago that God instructed Israel, “Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people,” it is nevertheless still good advice. More than that the New Testament teaches Christians to refrain from this practice (Romans 1:29-30; 1 Timothy 5:13). Yet, in far too many places today brethren are estranged and distant from one another because of “wraths, factions, backbitings, whisperings” (2 Cor. 12:20). My brethren, these things ought not to be so.

At the root of gossip there is always pride or jealousy or hatred. Some people gossip to gain attention; it makes them feel important. Others are just plain mean and they do it to intentionally hurt others. David said, “All that hate me whisper together against me; against me do they devise my hurt” (Psalm 41:7). The wise man said, “He that hideth hatred is of lying lips; and he that uttereth slander is a fool” (Proverbs 10:18).

Any fool ends up hurting himself. So it is with the gossiping fool. Though he may do an untold amount of harm to other people, the fruit of his activity is perhaps best observed in his life. FIRST, HE MAKES HIMSELF MISERABLE. “The north wind bringeth forth rain; so doth a backbiting tongue an angry countenance” (Proverbs 25:23). The gossip has a bitter, sour disposition. And why shouldn’t he? He is spewing out venom all the time. It is hard to be joyful and at peace with oneself when one is sullen, resentful and rabidly spreading lies. SECONDLY, HE CUTS HIMSELF OFF FROM OTHERS. God says, “He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets; therefore company not with him that openeth wide his lips” (Proverbs 20:19). And who would want to? Have you ever been around a person who had nothing good to say about others and you wondered what they say about you when you weren’t around? Would you like to tell that person something in confidence? No, “A perverse man scattereth abroad strife; and a whisperer separateth chief friends” (Proverbs 16:28). THIRDLY, HE SEPARATES HIMSELF FROM GOD. “Jehovah, who shall sojourn in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh truth in his heart; he that slandereth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his friend, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbor” Psalm 15:1-3.

To her shame the church has often neglected to discipline the gossiper. When gossip is heard by church leaders it should be traced to its source, and if the gossiper does not repent and stop, he should be severed from the fellowship of the saints. God says, “For lack of wood the fire goeth out; and where there is no whisperer, contention ceaseth. As coals are to hot embers, and wood to fire, so is a contentious man to inflame strife. The words of a whisperer are as dainty morsels, and they go down into the innermost parts” (Proverbs 26:20-22).

Let each disciple determine that he will not only refuse to gossip, but he will refuse to listen to one who does. Great good will come to the Lord’s cause by such determination on the part of every saint. Our actions as disciples either build up or tear down the kingdom. Which is it with you?

The above article is a great one and worthy of our reading and rereading. Please give consideration to it… Stan

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