Quotes for Topic: Gossip
I would rather play with forked lightning, or take in hand living wires with their fiery current, than speak a reckless word against any servant of Christ, or idly repeat the slanderous darts which thousands of Christians are hurling on others, to the hurt of their own souls and bodies.
Remember that, as the receiver is as bad as the thief, so the hearer of scandal is a sharer in the guilt of it. If there were no listening ears there would be no talebearing tongues. While you are a buyer of ill wares the demand will create the supply.
Reference: The Blind Eye and the Deaf Ear.
The best way to deal with slander is to pray about it: God will either remove it, or remove the sting from it. Our own attempts at clearing ourselves are usually failures; we are like the boy who wished to remove the blot from his copy, and by his bungling made it ten times worse.
Reference: The Treasury of David, Commentary for Psalm 119:20.
The thief doth send one only to the devil; the adulterer two; but the slanderer hurteth three; himself, the party to whom, and the party of whom he telleth his tale.
Reference: A Puritan Golden Treasury, compiled by I.D.E. Thomas, by permission of Banner of Truth, Carlisle, PA. 2000, p. 251.
The effects of slander are always long-lived. Once lies about you have been circulated, it is extremely difficult to clear your name. It’s a lot like trying to recover dandelion seeds after they have been thrown to the wind.
Reference: The Book on Leadership, 2004, p. 128.
Despite our seemingly casual attitude toward it, slander is a particularly destructive sin. Writing in the 1828 edition of his dictionary, Noah Webster defined slander as “a false tale or report maliciously uttered, and tending to injure the reputation of another by lessening him in the esteem of his fellow citizens, by exposing him to impeachment and punishment, or by impairing his means of living.” Slander strikes at people’s dignity, defames their character, and destroys their reputation – their most priceless worldly asset (Proverbs 22:1; Ecclesiastes 7:1).
Reference: James, Moody Publishers, 1998, p. 217.
The New Testament warns against gossiping. The Greek word translated “gossip” means whisper or whisperer. In other words, the focus is not on the falsehood of the word but on the fact that it needs to be surreptitious. It is not open and candid and forthright. It has darkness about it. It does not operate in the light of love. It is not aiming at healing. It strokes the ego’s desire to be seen as right without playing by the rules of love.
Reference: What I Said to the Pastoral Staff About Unity Amid Differences, April 15, 2009, www.DesiringGod.org, Used by Permission.
We will not listen or willingly inquire after ill concerning one another; that, if we do hear any ill of each other, we will not be forward to believe it; that as soon as possible we will communicate what we hear by speaking or writing to the person concerned; that until we have done this, we will not write or speak a syllable of it to any other person; that neither will we mention it, after we have done this, to any other person; that we will not make any exception to any of these rules unless we think ourselves absolutely obligated in conference.
Reference: Covenant of Early Methodist Ministers, 1752.
To gossip means to betray a confidence or to discuss unfavorable personal facts about another person with someone who is not part of the problem or its solution. Even if the information you discuss is true, gossip is always sinful and a sign of spiritual immaturity.
Reference: Reprinted from The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict, Ken Sande, Baker Books, 3d ed., 2004, p. 121. Peacemaker® Ministries. www.Peacemaker.net. Used by Permission. Get this book!
Gossip is saying behind a person’s back what you would never say to his or her face; flattery is saying to a person’s face what you would never say behind his or her back.
Reference: Kent Hughes Taken from James by Kent Hughes, copyright 1991, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, p. 140, www.crosswaybooks.org.
Gossip often veils itself in acceptable conventions such as “Have you heard…” or “Did you know…?” or “They tell me…” or “Keep this to yourself, but…” or “I do not believe it is true, but I heard that…” or “I wouldn’t tell you, except that I know it will go no further.” Of course, the most infamous such rationalization in Christian circles is, “I am telling you this so you can pray.”
Reference: Disciplines of a Godly Man, Crossway Books, 1991, p. 139. Get this book!
It is required of us that we be tender of the good name of our brethren; where we cannot speak well, we had better say nothing than speak evil; we must not take pleasure in making known the faults of others, divulging things that are secret, merely to expose them, nor in making more of their known faults than really they deserve, and, least of all, in making false stories, and spreading things concerning them of which they are altogether innocent. What is this but to raise the hatred and encourage the persecutions of the world, against those who are engaged in the same interests with ourselves, and therefore with whom we ourselves must stand or fall?
The late Alan Redpath once suggested that any gossip that comes our way should be subject to the following test summed up in the acronym THINK: T – is it true? H – is it helpful? I – is it inspiring? N – is it necessary? K – is it kind?
Reference: Wisdom to Live By, Christian Focus Publications, 1998, p. 41. Used by Permission.
Gossip is our dark moral fervor eagerly seeking gratification. Gossip makes us feel important and needed as we declare our judgments. It makes us feel included to know the inside scoop. It makes us feel powerful to cut someone else down to size, especially someone we are jealous of. It makes us feel righteous, even responsible, to pronounce someone else guilty. Gossip can feel good in multiple ways. But it is of the flesh, not of the Spirit.
Reference: Gossip, May 2008, Used by Permission.
Gossip leaves a wide trail of devastation wherever and however it goes – word of mouth, email, blogging, YouTube. It erodes trust and destroys morale. It creates a social environment of suspicion where everyone must wonder what is being said behind their backs and whether appearances of friendship are sincere. It ruins hard-won reputations with cowardly but effective weapons of misrepresentation. It manipulates people into taking sides when no such action is necessary or beneficial. It unleashes the dark powers of psychological transference, doing violence to the gossiper, to the one receiving the gossip and to the person being spoken against. It makes the Body of Christ look like the Body of Antichrist – destroyers rather than healers. It exhausts the energies we would otherwise devote to positive witness. It robs our Lord of the Church he deserves. It exposes the hostility in our hearts and discredits the gospel in the eyes of the world. Then we wonder why we don’t see more conversions, why “the ground is so hard.”
Reference: Gossip, May 2008, Used by Permission.
[Slander is] deliberate falsehood, meant to harm and undermine and diminish someone’s reputation, bearing false witness, cutting someone down to size, abusive transference.
Reference: Blog Post: Your Church Can Be a Gospel Culture, January, 22, 2014, Used by Permission.