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The Hidden Danger of Gossip...
Gossiping... A Plague That Destroys
The Bible is very expressive about the unholy assault of the tongue. Though the word "gossip" is not in the Bible, the very meaning and act of it is. It is referred to as "backbiting" amongst other terms (Romans 1:30). Gossip is the act of saying something to someone's face but never repeating it behind their back while saying something different behind one's back that would never be repeated to their face.
Gossip flows from the tongue of magical murmuring of a charmer of snakes. The hidden or subtle danger of gossip is the oxygen of gossip which comes from a welcoming regard for it. Backbiting is the fruit of carnality. A gossiper's only purpose is to further the cause of their own self-interest at the expense of others they intend to hurt.
Gossip is expressed by the biblical words "backbiting," "busybody," "evil speaking," "slander," "talebearer," and "tattler." All of which are contemptuous , having no genuine respect for God's will. The root of gossip is vanity and relies exclusively on human tendencies and always results in destruction.
We should note at this point that there are times when things must be shared that are not considered gossip. There are many examples in the Bible that provide an understanding of what gossip should not be considered.
Example: Paul was not gossiping or backbiting when he reminded Titus that the Cretians were "liars, evil beasts, slow bellies" (Titus 1:12). Paul was expressing what was factually known about the Cretians and to protect Titus. Another example comes from the household of Chloe which told Paul about the carnality in the church at Corinth. Paul was used by God to establish this Church and therefore was responsible for it's spiritual welfare. It is not gossip to share accurately and truthfully one's concern about a problem in a church with a responsible person over the church.
The necessary defense against gossiping is to purpose to grow in the likeness of Jesus Christ. Thank God we are not left to ourselves to grow spiritually. We have the indwelling Holy Spirit that guides us into all truth.
A perfect admonition from Charles Spurgeon "Don't be the Devil's bellows any longer to blow up the fires of strife. Set your tongue to praise God more and blame your neighbors less. Above all, ask the great Lord to set a watch over your lips."
Sincerely, Dr. Arthur Belanger