Who am I? I have no respect for justice. I maim without killing. I break hearts and ruin lives. I am cruel and malicious and gather strength with age. The more I am quoted, the more I am believed. My victims are helpless. They cannot protect themselves against me because I control all criticism about me. My friends all agree with me or they are not my friends. Once I tarnish a reputation, it is never the same. My goal is to break up families and ruin marriages. I aim to destroy careers and cause heartache and sleepless nights. I wreck churches and separate Christians. I spawn suspicion and generate grief. It is a successful day if I can make innocent people cry. The Word of God calls me gossip/slander. My name is Juliann/Meaghan.
It is quite clear that God has strong opinions about gossip/slander. To determine God’s feelings on the subject one needs to look no further than his earliest covenant with the Israelites when God told Moses, “Do not go about spreading gossip/slander among your people. Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life. I am the LORD.” (Lev. 19:16)
“I am the Lord” is God’s signature that declares his supreme authority in a particular matter. Since it is attached to this commandment, it shows how seriously God views slander.
GOSSIP/SLANDER—A BIBLICAL VIEW.
PSALMS 101:5a, “Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him (or her) I will destroy.”
“One who secretly slanders a neighbor” is guilty of gossip. God is greatly displeased with those who talk behind people’s backs. Gossipers will be destroyed. Juliann/Meaghan—you might want to repent before you fall into the hands of the Living God.
HOW DOES GOD FEEL ABOUT GOSSIP/SLANDER?
PROVERBS 6:16-19, “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.”
God hates a lying tongue and one who sows discord among brethren. Gossipers/Slanders are an abomination in the sight of God. Juliann/Meaghan—this should cause you sleepless nights but if you repent and “turn to the Lord, our God; he is merciful and quick to forgive.” (Isaiah 55:7)
WHY DO PEOPLE GOSSIP?
I CORINTHIANS 3:3. “for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?”
People gossip because they are not spiritually minded, but they are carnally minded. The carnally minded person insists on their own way, the spiritually minded person builds up the other person. Juliann/Meaghan—you are never too far away to be out of the reach of God. Remember, if you repent “The LORD is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion.” (Numbers 14:18)
I think that gossip is very much an expression of pride and human arrogance, which is why people feel so justified when they engage in it.
PROVERBS 10:18, “He who conceals hatred has lying lips, and he who spreads slander is a fool.”
People bear false witness because they HATE the one they speak about. People spread gossip because they are fools.
I TIMOTHY 5:13, “At the same time they also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention.”
People gossip because they are idle and want to feel that they have some influence. Normally if you look at a person who is gossiping, they are not doing any spiritual work. Those who routinely gossip, usually speak against those who are doing spiritual work.
Juliann/Meaghan—What is repentance? John MacArthur correctly said: “Repentance is no more a meritorious work than its counterpart, faith. It is an inward response. Genuine repentance pleads with the Lord to forgive and deliver from the burden of sin and the fear of judgment and hell. It is the attitude of the publican who, fearful of even looking toward heaven, smote his breast and cried, “God, be merciful to me, the sinner!” (Luke 18:13). Repentance is not merely behavior reform. But because true repentance involves a change of heart and purpose, it inevitably results in a change of behavior.”
“Like faith, repentance has intellectual, emotional, and volitional ramifications. Berkhof describes the intellectual element of repentance as “a change of view, a recognition of sin as involving personal guilt, defilement, and helplessness.” The emotional element is “a change of feeling, manifesting itself in sorrow for sin committed against a holy God.” The volitional element is “a change of purpose, an inward turning away from sin, and a disposition to seek pardon and cleansing.” (Berkhof, Systematic Theology, 486) Each of those three elements is deficient apart from the others. Repentance is a response of the total person.”