Proverbs 11: 12, 13

 12 Whoever derides their neighbor has no sense,
   but the one who has understanding holds their tongue.

 13 A gossip betrays a confidence,
   but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.

Gossip and Slander

I have been angry enough to launch into negative speech about people.  I have been hurt enough to want others to join with me in an assassination of another’s character.  I can honestly say that nothing good comes of that.  Sure, we feel somewhat better.  It is cathartic.  However, the smearing of another’s character only ever hurts our own.  It is bitter to be bitter and the only ones who truly join in are those who we should not really mix closely with.  Knowing that nothing will be gained from venting makes it easier to let things go.  we need to ask ourselves why we want so badly to speak negatively and then deal with our own deficiencies. 

Gossips baffle me a little.  Why is there joy in spreading bad news?  Why do gossip columns flourish?  I think there is something really twisted behind our desire to hear of others’ misfortune.  However, I have not stood firm in rooms where gossip persists.  Again, we should feel empathy and refrain from gossip, but we too soon think of ourselves.

Questions

  1. What harm do gossip and slander do?
  2. How is gossip different from slander?
  3. What is the solution to gossip and slander?
  4. Why does gossip sell magazines and improve media ratings?
  5. When are we best able to hold our tongues?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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