I recently grabbed a meal with a friend. We hadn’t seen each other for awhile and we had a lot of catching up to do. We sat and talked for quite awhile about new things and updates on old things.
Then, it happened, as conversations tend to do. “Did you hear what they are doing?!” Running out of things to say about ourselves, just like that, the conversation shifted from about us to about them. And we entered dangerous territory, but we didn’t know it.
I sat around a table of people and we were sharing about fun things going on in our lives. The conversation was fun and full of questions and laughter. Then, it happened. “Can you believe he did _____? It makes me so angry that he is so unorganized!” And the next thing I knew the conversation was no longer about us but about him. Again, dangerous territory had been entered.
My spirit felt off. And the Spirit illuminated, conviction.
“Gossip is a sin rarely disciplined but often more socially destructive than the sensational sins.” -Ray Ortlund
This dangerous territory? The land of gossip.
I’ve labeled it “networking,” “venting,” or “sharing.” The line has been blurred so much that I don’t know what gossip is, I don’t think I ever have. I know it’s sin, but I don’t know what it is. I’ve never heard a sermon explicitly on it (sadly), but I know the Bible speaks very strongly against it. It’s time to stop being ignorant.
So I began to research, to ask questions and seek answers about this dangerous territory.
And I’ve discovered some beneficial resources. One of which is a book called “Resisting Gossip: Winning the War of the Waging Tongue” by Matthew C. Mitchell. It is currently packaged and traveling to my mailbox.
Join me over the next few months on my journey into gossip: gossip defined, biblical warnings against it, the sin of being a gossiper, the sin of listening to gossip, the effects/dangers of gossip, the reasons why we gossip, how the gospel gives us freedom from gossip, and practical ways to battle gossip.
I have no idea what lies ahead. It’s probably going to get a little uncomfortable. I feel there will be, I pray there will be, much conviction and repentance. We will have to change.
But this territory is too dangerous not to explore. This sin kills. God’s grace is to costly to remain comfortable, ignorant and apathetic. It’s time to start putting out fires, rather than spreading them like dragons.