I think this is the is the final post on gossip, but I can’t promise. First, I discussed Wolfgang Musculus’ exposition of Psalm 15:3. Then I posted on the tactics and aims of a gossip. In this post I want to give direction on how to keep yourself from being a gossip and how to deal with gossips. But first, here is a review.
A gossip is someone who wants to influence people’s opinions of other people, but does so through manipulation and insinuation, not clear communication. A gossip is intent on hurting someone by turning people against them in some way. A gossip can speak the truth about someone, but the goal is not the good of the person or those around them, but rather the goal is to harm the one being spoken of. Now of course, a gossip would never say this. That is why wisdom is necessary.
Dealing with Our Own Gossip
Defeating gossip begins with our own hearts. There is a tendency to want to control other people, dig for dirt, hurt others, and turn people to your side against other people. Before asking how we can handle gossips we must first ask, “Am I a gossip?” Do we find ourselves talking about others for no good reason? Do we find ourselves shading the truth to make ourselves look better or others look bad? And perhaps most importantly is there bitterness and pride in our hearts? Bitterness and pride are the seeds from which gossip grows. We think ourselves better than other people. We know better than other people. Or we become bitter at someone. They did not do what we thought they should. Maybe they said something that irritated us. Maybe their personality just grates us. Bitterness, that hidden malice that seeks to harm others, and pride, that hidden inflated opinion of one’s self, is the root of gossip. Before we can honestly and kindly deal with a gossip we must rid our own hearts of gossip. Speak the truth with humility and kindness towards those around you. Continue reading