Gossip is a growing problem in the church because Gossip has become normalized behavior in our culture. It is often spun as simply stating the truth, but gossip is a sin and unfortunately, it is a sin that is rarely addressed from the pulpit or in writing. This three part blog series is from a sermon I preached at a recent members meeting at Harrisburg Baptist Church.
Gossip Part One:
Romans 1:29–32 (CSB)
They are filled with all unrighteousness, evil, greed, and wickedness. They are full of envy, murder, quarrels, deceit, and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, arrogant, proud, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, ￼senseless, untrustworthy, unloving,￼ and unmerciful. ￼Although they know God’s just sentence—that those who practice such things deserve to die￼—they not only do them, but even applaud￼ others who practice them.
Do you see the company of sins that gossip keeps? The sin of gossip does damage to both the heart of the one who does it and the one who receives it.
But, before we go any further let’s define gossip according to the Greek word that is used in Romans and in other passages like 2 Corinthians 12:20-21.
I like the definition John Piper provides in his article on Desiring God. Gossip is… “Derogatory information about someone that you have that is shared with others in a tone of confidentiality that is not motivated by doing good to them and that you are enjoying in a way that shows your heart is not humble.”
Notice that according to the definition, gossip is not limited to false-statements, though lying can be a form of gossip- not all gossip is untrue.
- Gossip is motivated by the harm it inflicts and the pride it puffs up.
Do you see the evil that gossip is? It is motivated by harm, not by good. The good that someone thinks it achieves is built on the wake of those it hurts. Gossip is a sin that builds you up at the expense of others.
Gossip puts you at the center rather than Christ
When you gossip the attention of the moment is on you rather than on the Lord. That’s the point of gossip, it exists to distract from the Lord and place the one is gossiping in the spotlight at the expense of others. This is the opposite of the way of Christ. Jesus brought salvation to the lost and glory to God at His expense.
Gossip makes you the authority rather than God’s Word
The gossip conversation so often is laced with the tone of authority. Those who gossip enjoy being the center of the moment and are seeking to be the one who directs how things should go.
Gossip makes you feel good because it is a subtle sin that builds you up.
It’s amazing how good sin makes us feel in the moment and gossip is no different. Gossip gives you attention, it gives you an audience, and it feels good for the moment as people listen to you and possibly even agree with you. But, like all sin; the sin of gossip will distance you from the Lord, harm your witness, and bring hurt upon someone else.
In our next post, we will further examine the nature and impact of gossip. Until then, take time to examine your own heart and life to make sure that this sin hasn’t crept in. If gossip is an issue for you, commit to the Lord today to put this sin to death and instead use your words to build others up and honor the Lord.
Ephesians 4:29 (CSB)
29 No foul language should come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear.