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Monday, November 9, 2009

Are You a Gossip?

Gossip is one of the sins which is greatly misunderstood. It is seen as benign when the Bible lists it with the greatest of sins. It is seen as telling lies when it may actually be telling the truth.

Gossip is telling a story that will hurt someone. It is not slander. Slander is telling a lie that will hurt someone. Gossip has its own category in the list of sins. Slander is listed separately.

So, are you a gossip? You are if you carry the following characteristics.

A gossip listens to gossip. Gossips will stop coming to you if you don't receive them. They spread their venom where it will be taken in. I have heard many a gossip tell me, "I don't know why they tell me these things." I know. It is because they will listen to it. You cannot be a gossip if you change the subject when someone starts to gossip. You are when you listen.

A gossip accepts the bad thing said about the person being gossiped about. Gossips will stop coming to you if you start defending the person. Gossips will leave you alone if you start discussing the reasons people might have done what is being gossiped about in a positive light. Their goal is to stand on the back of the person they are criticizing so they can look taller. They won't look so tall if you make the other person taller than the gossip.

A gossip throws reason into the wind. The gossip doesn't think that there might be a good reason things appear as they do. They just carry the gossip on. They are not reasonable. For example, a gossip will speak of another person's apparent drinking problem. They won't look for what could have happened that might have been innocent. It might be that this is the only time the person has drunk too much. Yet, the gossip tells the story as if this is the normal way of life for the one being gossiped about. The inability to corroborate the story means nothing to the gossip. Reason has nothing to do with it.

A gossip adds to the story. The gossip looks for things that will either support or start a new thread of gossip. It is bad enough to listen to gossip but a true gossip will also add a little more. It may have been heard from another gossip or it may be original work. Either way, gossip grows like cancer among gossips.

The gossip thinks that other gossips are his or her friends. They don't know that the one who will gossip to you will gossip about you. They don't even recognize that they do the same things.

A gossip doesn't know he or she is a gossip. They think they are just having pleasant conversations. They listen, accept, add to and revel in the demise of another person. They don't even see it as such. Gossips do not consider the damage that is being done. Sometimes the greatest damage is to the gossip. His or her heart is being corrupted by their own gossip.

Now, I know that no gossip is going to admit he or she is a gossip. I guess I wrote this so people would be able to recognize a world class gossip. They tear people apart. They tear churches apart. I just don't see how someone can be happy by trying to stand on another person's back.

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