A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends. — Proverbs 16:28
Winston Churchill quite often exemplified integrity and respect in the face of opposition. During his last year in office, he attended an official ceremony. Several rows behind him, two gentlemen began whispering, “That’s Winston Churchill. They say he is getting senile. They say he should step aside and leave the running of the nation to more dynamic and capable men.”
When the ceremony was over, Churchill turned to the men and said, “Gentlemen, they also say he is deaf!”
Gossip is one of the most destructive forces anyone can introduce into a relationship. That’s because when someone discovers—and they likely will—that you said something bad about them in secret, it destroys the single element on which friendships are based: trust. And once trust has been abolished, many, if not most, relationships will never recover from that trauma.
So instead of gossiping about someone, make one of two choices. Either keep the matter silent, or go directly to the person and talk with them about it. While it may seem easier to talk about others behind their backs than doing either of these, gossip is much more destructive in the long run. So make the choice to preserve trust by refraining from gossip.
Pray that God would give you the strength to refrain from participating in gossip. Ask Him to bless your relationships by keeping them built on trust.
Questions for thought
Can you remember a time in your life when someone gossiped about you? How did it make you feel?
Is there someone in your life that you need to have a hard conversation with so that you’re not tempted to gossip?