The Truth About Gossip

TNIV Scripture for Friday, September 12, 2008 [Proverbs 26:20-27]

Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down. As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome person for kindling strife. The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts. Like a coating of silver dross on earthenware are fervent lips with an evil heart. Enemies disguise themselves with their lips, but in their hearts they harbor deceit. Though their speech is charming, do not believe them, for seven abominations fill their hearts. Their malice may be concealed by deception, but their wickedness will be exposed in the assembly. If anyone digs a pit, they themselves will fall into it; if anyone rolls a stone, it will roll back on them.

The truth about gossip:
The Hebrew word means to roll to pieces (this is a picture of destruction)
If you don't add to it, it will die down like a fire without fuel.
If you participate in it, it is like adding fuel to a fire.
It comes from quarrelsome people.
It has a strong fleshly appeal as you partake of it like eating a tasty treat (feels good to your flesh) and affects your inward person.
It looks shiny and like something of value from the outside, but that is just a thin veneer with no real value underneath.
It comes from the lips of one with an evil heart. The words of those lips ignite the flame (fervent means flaming).
It comes from the mouth of one who is deceitful, but that deceitfulness is hidden.
The words of a gossip seem gracious, but  don't believe them.
In the end, the gossip will be found out and will fall into a pit of their own making.

Gossip in this context is the verbal spreading of personal information (rumors, half truths or lies) about others for malicious reasons. May you learn to recognize it and refuse to participate in it and pray that those who do will be exposed.

Beth Warlick, 9/12/2008