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Why gossip is delicious

December 23, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Best quote from an essay on gossip in the Globe and Mail,

Soren Kierkegaard saw gossip flourishing “when people’s attention is no longer turned inwards, when they are no longer satisfied with their own inner religious lives, but turn to others and to things outside themselves.”

So, why is gossip so delicious?  Prov. 18:8, 26:22 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts.  Gossip seems to appeal to something deep within us.  Is it a deep dissatisfaction with our inner life as Kierkegaard mentions and so to make ourselves feel better, we talk about others.

Despite what the article in The Globe and Mail says, a quick search of the Bible warns us to avoid  gossip

 

Gossip damages our  friendships

  • Prov. 16:28 A perverse man stirs up dissensi on, and a gossip separates close friends.
  • Prov. 11:13 A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.
  • Prov. 20:19 A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much.

 

Gossip stirs up strife and dissension

  • Prov. 26:20 Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down.

Gossip is associated with other sins and is sin by and of itself

  • Ezek. 36:3 therefore prophesy, and say, Thus says the Lord GOD: Precisely because they made you desolate and crushed you from all sides, so that you became the possession of the rest of the nations, and so you became the talk and evil gossip of the people,
  • Rom. 1:29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips
  • 2Cor. 12:20 For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder
  • 1Tim. 5:13 Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to.
  • 3John 10 So if I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, gossiping maliciously about us. Not satisfied with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.

 

Thinking about the power of words, I went over to Job. In Job, we discover the following:

Your words are like a great wind (Job 8:2, 16:3), without understanding (8:10), words can (or should) be tested by the ear as food by the palate (12:11), words can do no good, be unprofitable (15:13), torment and break me to pieces with words (19:2), multiplies words without knowledge (35:16), rash words are like the thrusts of a  sword 12:18

And in the Psalms we find vain words (4:2), empty words 41:6, the deceitful love words that devour 52:4, lying words may come out of pride 59:12, and arrogant words 94:4.  If hasty in our words, we will be considered a fool 29:20. When we speak  with many words there is vanity or emptiness in our speech (Eccl 5:7, 6:11, 10:4).

Proverbs teaches that we can be snared by our words 6:2 (smooth words of an adulteress (7:5), our words can be twisted and crooked 8:8, and with many words, sin is inevitable (10:19).

flow by markkirkoa

Our words can have a positive effect on people. In the Psalms, we discover that God’s words are sweet 119:103 and give light and understanding 119:130, bring hope 119:147.  Our words can be sweet to the soul and health to the body 16:24.  We ma be  thought to be  prudent (wise) if we restrain our words 10:19 (see Eccl 5:2,3, 12:11) since our words may bring healing 12:1.

What kind of words will you use today?

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