The Dangers of Idle Talk

gossip 1

Proverbs 12:13-22 (NIV)

13 Evildoers are trapped by their sinful talk,
    and so the innocent escape trouble.

14 From the fruit of their lips people are filled with good things,
    and the work of their hands brings them reward.

15 The way of fools seems right to them,
    but the wise listen to advice.

16 Fools show their annoyance at once,
    but the prudent overlook an insult.

17 An honest witness tells the truth,
    but a false witness tells lies.

18 The words of the reckless pierce like swords,
    but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

19 Truthful lips endure forever,
    but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.

20 Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil,
    but those who promote peace have joy.

21 No harm overtakes the righteous,
    but the wicked have their fill of trouble.

22 The Lord detests lying lips,
    but he delights in people who are trustworthy.

 

Ask anyone to define the word gossip and most will mention the spreading of rumors about others.  That is correct, but it’s not the whole truth.  Gossip includes any idle or malicious talk that harms someone else.  In other words, damaging speech is a universal sin, one that we all are guilty of at different times in our lives.

For example, did you ever comment negatively on how a person was dressed?  Or suggest to a friend that someone you both know is in the wrong job or involved in unsuitable hobbies?  Or tell an acquaintance about another man or woman’s personal life?  Let me ask you a final question: Did you feel a check in your spirit while you were speaking?  All of these can be examples of gossip, which are words that do damage and hurt others despite sounding innocent.

Idle comments are often delivered in a way that makes them seem unlike the traditional definition of gossip.  People mask gossip in several ways, such as speaking in jest, offering others’ personal details “as an example,” and disguising the spread of information as a prayer request.  Of course, not every tease or illustration is gossip.  And the body of Christ is certainly called upon to pray for those facing hard times.  Therefore we must be able to distinguish between worthless chatter and wise speech.

What matters is the heart’s motivation.  We see this clearly in the book of Psalms:

Psalm 19:14 (NIV)

14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
    be pleasing in your sight,
    Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

When the intention is to mar a reputation or create instant camaraderie with another person, lips tend to move loosely.  This often happens while discussing someone else’s misfortune.  But a desire to please God and reflect His grace should prompt us to speak only that which builds others up.

Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

The next time we find ourselves talking about another person, we need to ask ourselves what our true intentions are.  Are we building them up or tearing them down.  Would God approve of what we are saying?  If not, maybe we should consider not saying anything at all.

About wmarsau

Most of the people who visit this blog already know me so it is kind of pointless to try to describe my life in this short little blurb. What is the purpose of this blog is the question. Over the course of this last year I have been exposed to some amazing people and have made personal development an important focus of my life. Being successful, not by the world's standards, but by God's has become my main focus. Mainly, I want to work to develop myself as a person who is kinder, reaches out to help those in need, and truly makes a difference in this world. To this end I am constantly reading and am exposed to so many differnet things along the way. These have been amazing and it is helping me grow so much. Then I started to think, "Why am I being so selfish?" You need to share with others these amazing things you are learning and being exposed to. That is where this blog comes into play. As I am reading and experiencing things that are truly amazing and life changing, I will be posting them on this blog. Obviously, I will not be able to post everything in it's entirity, but I will be summarizing them and letting you know the source of the article or book they come from so you can check them out later if you wish. I want this blog to be a place where you can go to often and be inspired and leave here with a smile on your face. I will be covering all kinds of different topics dealing with success and personal development. Topics like taking action, relationships, living to your potential, reinventing yourself, finances, leadership, presenting, goal setting, time management, etc. I will also be occasionally including topics on cooking, music, and gardening because they are special interests of mine. As a little disclaimer, I have given my life to the Lord and he is #1 in my life. I am his servant and everything I do in life is for his glory. With that being said, religion influences all areas of my life. There will be references to God in this blog because I can't seperate God from this or any other area of my life. I want you to know that if you do not believe in God, that is fine. That is your choice. This blog is open to anyone who wants to better their life. I will not be trying to influence or pressure anyone into having a relationship with the Lord from this site. Please don't feel uncomfortable. You can just read the portions of the blog that you wish to. I am inviting you to go on a journey with me. We will learn together to be the kind of people we were designed to be. Anyone can make a difference in this world, but it starts%
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