Revisiting the No Gossip Zone

“Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down: (Proverbs 26:20 NIV).

 In myI talked about gossip. As a review, Webster defines gossip as ”easy, fluent, trivial talk, talk about people behind their backs.” It is repeating information about another person’s private affairs. If you have to look around to make sure that no one can hear what you are saying, you are probably gossiping. If you would not say something in front of the person you are talking about, then you’re probably gossiping.

But it takes two to tango the gossip dance. “Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down: (Proverbs 26:20). The Bible tells us to make every effort to avoid gossipers (Proverbs 21:19, 20:19). A good rule of thumb is if you are not part of the problem or part of the solution, then keep the information to yourself.

Paul warned, “Some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and wasting time meddling in other people’s business,” (2 Thessalonians 3:11 NLT). Other translations call such people “busybodies,” (NAS, NIV). And listen, putting the words, “we need to pray for so-and-so” before the gossip doesn’t make the gossip any less gossip.

One day a woman felt overwhelmed with guilt over her years of malicious gossip. She went to the local priest and confessed her sin. The priest was all too aware of her wagging tongue and had experienced the sting of her words first hand….or rather second hand.

What can I do to rectify all the damage I have caused with my gossip?” she asked.

“Gather a bag of feathers,” he began. “Then go around to each house and place a feather at their door.”

That seemed like a simple enough request, so the woman did just as the priest had instructed.  After the task was complete, she returned. “I have done what you requested,” she said. “Now what am I to do?”

“Now go back and retrieve each of the feathers,” he replied.

“That is impossible,” the woman argued. “The wind will have blown them all around town by now.”

“Exactly,” replied the wise priest. “Once you have spoken an ill word, it drifts through the air on wings of gossip, never to be retrieved. God has forgiven you, as you have asked. But I cannot remove the consequences of your hurtful words or gather them from the places they have landed.”

Here’s an idea. If a friend approaches you with some “news” or a “concern” about another person, stop and ask, “May I quote you on what you’re about to tell me?” That will usually “put a lid” on the conversation before it even begins.

In my last post, I asked if you would be willing to make your life a NO GOSSIP ZONE. I just thought we might need to ask that question one more time. (I love you! Don’t be made at me!)

If you are willing to take the challenge, leave a comment:  “I’m living in a NO GOSSIP ZONE. If you’ve already done it, you can recommit your commitment: “I’m STILL living in a NO GOSSIP ZONE.”

Let’s Pray

OK Lord, I’m coming to You with this request again. Please help me not to gossip. Help me not to repeat a matter that is none of my business. If I’m not part of the problem or part of the solution, help me to keep my lips zipped. May the words of my mouth be pleasing in Your sight!  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Since my last devotion on gossip, have you been more aware of the words coming out of your mouth?

Have you begun a story, only to stop before it actually came out of your mouth? I have! Praise God!

Consider writing this verse on an index card and taping it to your bathroom mirror.

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

 Want More?

Today’s blog was taken from my book, The Power of a Woman’s Words. If you would like to learn about how to control your words and use them to speak life into those in your sphere of influence, then this is the book for you. Visit the Bookstore page to download a free chapter, watch a video or place an order.

 

13 Responses to Revisiting the No Gossip Zone

  1. Chimene Kotian May 24, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

    Hi

    I just read your article on Gossip and I have a question – sometimes I do quote somebody’s personal life details to another person so that they can get encouragement to get out of a similar situation -for eg a friend of mine is going through seperation and my sister-in-law is going through something similar -if I share my friends experiences – Is that Gossip…………????
    On the other hand a friend is someone whom You trust and share your secerets so if someone hurts you badly with words sharing that with your best friend is that Gossip. Would appreciate your thoughts on this

    • Sharon May 25, 2012 at 2:04 am #

      One of my rules of thumb is…if I’m not part of the problem or part of the solution, then I don’t need to be talking about it. If you are sharing with a friend something that happened to you, then that isn’t gossip.

  2. Deborah Thompson May 24, 2012 at 3:30 pm #

    I’m STILL living in a NO GOSSIP ZONE.

  3. Jeannette May 24, 2012 at 3:53 pm #

    I have a funny story for you about ‘gossipping’. 20 years ago, I had a brain aneurysm. I had to relearn just about everything. Among the parts of my brain affected was the part that comprehends things; you could have told me that’s a dog and I could jump up and down believing it was an elephant and you were just trying to pull my leg, that kind of thing. Here’s the funny part…I would make sure I read the Bible every day (I still do), so when I read the verse in the NiV about not to be back biters, I took it literally as people should not be biting others’ backs!
    It kept my focus on not gossip ping once I understood what the passage meant!!

    • Sharon May 24, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

      That is too cute!

  4. Florence Lugo May 24, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

    This is just confirmation of this book that I boutght and have I have been posting on my FB pg this week called “Overcoming Gossip” How satan the accuser of the brethen, uses gossip to fragment the body of Christ… And I found out how profound the word of God speaks about people who gossip…There were 7 types of gossipers in the body of Christ, The whisperer, The back biter, The busybody, The slanderer, The liar, The murmurer, and The complainer…and these are the spirits the enemy uses to employe the saint to be his mouth piece. This should not be…We have to remember that God commands us to love our brother and sisters. We have to check and see what is the motive behind a person who gossips. One day the Spirit of the Lord spoke to my heart and said “WHEN WE CHOOSE NOT TO GOSSIP ~THAT’S A FORM OF WORSHIP” and I knew from that time on, God wanted to shine his light this very topic…and I came across this book and you confirmed that God is speaking on this very topic. May the Lord continue to deliver his people, so we can all can be who he originally intended for us to be …God Bless…:0)))

  5. Kay Odle May 24, 2012 at 6:28 pm #

    It’s a ahard thing to put an egg back in it’s shell, once you’ve broken it. That’s how gossip is, I’ve learned what you meant to share with one person ends up with way too many knowing it. So stop with the person who told you first and then go and share it with God, now you’ve stopped the chain, it works!!
    Thanks for setting the ground work for this at our ladies retreat in Indiana at the first of May, that has helped me see what trouble my words can cause.
    Kay

  6. Tiffany Crosby May 24, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

    I’m living in a No Gossip Zone. I loved your sessions last Saturday in Columbus, Ohio and purchased The Power of a Women’s Words. I look forward to completing the study.

  7. Lisa May 24, 2012 at 9:30 pm #

    Working at actively trying not to gossip. Looking for a great book to share with your children, try Mr.Peabody’s Apples by Madonna.

  8. Nad May 25, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

    I’m living a NO GOSSIP ZONE! Thanks a lot, your posts are a true blessing in my life!

    Much blessings!!!

  9. Susie May 29, 2012 at 8:06 pm #

    I am living in a No Gossip Zone.

  10. Paula May 31, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

    I am living in a NO Gossip Zone!

  11. Bassey June 11, 2012 at 12:41 pm #

    I am living in a NO Gossip Zone.

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