Am I A Gossiper?
The word “gossip” always convey a sense of negative, idle conversation and the spreading of rumours about other people. Concern about gossip, may have been on the mind of Henry Thomas Buckle, when he made the well-known quote: “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people”.
There are people whose only problem with gossip is when they are the target of other gossipers. That however, suggests that they understand the evil effects of gossip. Yet, they too, often indulge in gossip concerning others. Most gossips are outright lies, half-truths and often attempts to paint a negative view of others in the mind of the hearers.
For the purpose of making the rumours appear to be facts, it is delivered with a sense of boldness and assurance. Gossipers should be aware that they are spreading lies concerning others.
It is therefore, important that we be conscious of our gossip.
Even the courts of our land recognize the deadly effects of gossip. Legally, it is called slander and defamation. It is just one reason why gossipers never go public or on record. The bible shows words as having life and spiritual effects both on the speaker and hearers. The Lord said, “It is not what goes into the mouth that makes a person unclean. It is what comes out of the mouth that makes a person unclean.” (Matthew 15:11)
Clearly he was speaking about unclean words. The words, I speak affects me, first. It presents me as unclean, if they are unclean. It after affects the hearers. We should therefore be concerned not only of what we speak but also of what we hear. I need to avoid speaking certain things and to avoid hearing certain things. I should not be listening to those things, which I should not speak. If it is offensive to speak it, it is offensive to be listening to it.
Gossip therefore when it is released by our mouth goes forth as a devious life. Long after we speak it and even forgets it, it continues to work. In fact, people’s words continue to have effects after they are dead. “He being dead yet speaketh.” (Hebrews 11:4) My words are a part of my legacy.
Releasing evil words can be compared to lighting a fire and walking away. Even after I am gone the fire continues to rage. I may be surprised by its spread and deadly effects. It may be that when it was spoken, I never thought of the effects it would have.
In other words, once I speak words, I am no longer in control of its effects. However, the effects are my works.
The Lord said, “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36, 37)
The Lord was referring here specifically to “idle words”. Gossip by definition falls in this category of words. The Lord is saying that our words will follow us to the judgement seat of Christ.
Not only does my words affect me immediately, when it comes out of my mouth, as we saw earlier, but it would be present with me on the day of judgement. I live, I speak idle words and I die. However, those words I spoke in my lifetime do not die. They await me! I will meet them again! They will confront me at the judgement seat, before which every man will one day appear.
I may well find out at the judgement seat, of works done by my words of which I was never aware. I may even discover that some of those works were done in my physical absence. They continued working long after my death. It does not make me less responsible as they form part of my works.
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:10)
Our words would have contributed largely to “the things done” in our bodies.