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November 19, 2015

Culture Commentary: Gossip and Hate

Two weeks ago, a fashion stylist sued a fashion blogger for libel after a blog the fashion pulis went viral affecting the stylist’s image and business.

I won’t get into the details of the account but I would rather focus on what is wrong with our culture today and how we can redeem it.

They say GOSSIP is the Philippine’s favorite past time. We have seen many people became famous and untouchable because they are the source of gossip or tsismis. We have also seen how gossip destroyed relationships, families, friendships, organizations and churches. So what is the big deal about gossip?  What does the Bible have to say about it?

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Now let me give you a simple defintion of gossip. Gossip is talking about someone to others when you or the person you are talking to are not part of the problem or part of the solution. 

The problem with gossip is the spirit behind what drives it. When we gossip, we move in the spirit of dishonoring someone who is not there to defend him or herself. Though some gossips maybe true – there are always two sides to the story. I have been victimized by gossip before and I have accepted that it is part of leadership and life.

So how do we deal with gossips and gossipers?

  1. Always move in the spirit of honor.

Gossips move in the spirit of dishonoring someone. God commands us to honor everyone, which means we should not be part of any conversation that dishonors anybody.

It is sad that some gossips are guised as prayer items or concerns when the spirit behind it is not. If you are in the middle of any gossip conversation – the best thing to do is stand up and walk away.

Ephesians 4:29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.

2. Remember that the one who is gossiping about someone has the capacity to gossip about you.

If there is a serial gossiper – tell them how you don’t appreciate them gossiping. Most likely they would not listen to you and even gossip about you after. After that, Scripture tells us that gossipers are not trust worthy. So at least you know to whom will you open up in the future. Trust is earned.

Proverbs 11:13 He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets, But he who is trustworthy conceals a matter.

3. I know this might sound harsh, but if you know someone who is a gossiper and a slanderer, the Bible commands us not to associate with such people.

Proverbs 20:19 (ESV) 19 Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with a simple babbler.

Here are a couple of reasons why I think the Bible tells us to disassociate with them.

reason 1: gossipers love to name drop. They might leverage your name to make the gossip more viral. Thammie and I have been a victim to such schemes of gossipers. Name drop and then gossip – it is a powerful tool gossipers use all the time.

reason 2: you will be associated with the gossip. Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are.

There is something evil about gossips and gossipers. You might not see it at first but you will be shocked how when gossipers are confronted – they deny that they are gossipers and believe in their own lie. That is how sin operates. It distorts the truth.

4. Do something else that matters.

Isn’t it funny how gossipers have all the time in the world to gossip. They operate like the whiners and complainers. Instead of doing something, they rather talk their way through life.

1 Timothy 5:1At 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.

5. It destroys you and it would be harder to get people to trust you.

Proverbs 18:6-7 A fool’s lips bring strife, And his mouth calls for blows. A fool’s mouth is his ruin, And his lips are the snare of his soul.

It is sad when people try to be in good terms with you because of the fear that you might spread gossips about them.

Gossipers never have true friends. There is no honor among gossipers – only gossips.

In the long run,  the joy gossipers get from gossiping is not worth it. I’d rather have loyal, faithful and honest friends than have a community of gossipers.

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