Gossiping is a painful form of betrayal, especially if it comes from your close friends. Most of the time, gossiping results from one’s urge to exalt themselves and make others look bad. And to be honest, most people have had others talk behind their backs and have also talked behind the back of others. The realization that someone has been gossiping about you is not a happy finding. Therefore, we can all agree that gossiping is painful and can ruin friendships. However, is it bad to gossip, according to the Bible? Is gossiping a sin?
The scripture in Romans 1; 29-31 clearly states that gossiping is a sin, and Christians should not indulge in gossip or slandering. Most of the time, gossiping includes bringing others down through mockery, denigration, and even slander. It mostly comes from the point of envy, hate, and jealousy. The Bible discourages Christians from using their tongues to destroy others and notes that whatever comes out of our mouths should be holy and lift others.
So, what does the Bible say about gossip? Why do Christians believe that gossiping is a sin? How can Christians overcome gossiping? What Bible verses talk about gossiping? Continue reading to find the answers to these questions and more.
What does the Bible say about gossip?
The Bible is clear that gossiping is a sin, and Christians should refrain from it. The book of Romans 1:29-32 reads, “They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed, and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, deceit, and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant, and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil and disobeying their parents. They have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they knew God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.” This passage from the book of Romans clearly illustrates how serious the sin of gossip is, and it characterizes those under God’s wrath.
Additionally, the book of 1st Timothy 5:12-13 warns against gossip. The verse notes, “And so incur condemnation for having abandoned their former faith. Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about house to house, but not only idlers but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not.” The book of proverbs 20:19 goes ahead and states, “A gossip betrays a confidence, so avoid a man who talks too much.” This verse from the book of Proverbs is a good guideline if you do not want to get yourself in spaces involving gossip.
Consequently, the Bible is clear that gossip ruins friendships. Proverbs 16:28 says, “a perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates friend.” This is quite evident in today’s world, as backbiting is the worst betrayal in friendships and has broken a lot of friendships. It is sad that in today’s world, some people thrive on gossiping and look for any opportunity to destroy others through gossiping.
Proverbs 18:7-8 says, “A fool’s mouth is his undoing, and his lips are a snare to his soul. The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts.” Therefore, as Christians, we should avoid gossiping not only because it is a sin but also because the words of our tongues have the power to either destroy or build. Strive that everything you do or say reflects the glory of God.
Why do Christians believe that gossiping is a sin?
Christians believe that gossiping is a sin because the scripture warns against gossiping. Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let not corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” The book of Exodus 23:1 in the Old Testament says, “Do not spread false reports. Do not help a guilty person by being a malicious witness.”
The Bible strongly condemns any form of gossip, slander, or malicious talk. The scripture is clear that whatever comes from our mouths should build others and glorify God, not destroy others. The book of Proverbs notes that gossiping destroys even close friendships. Proverbs 16:28 says, “A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates friend.”
The book of James 1:26 says, “Those who consider themselves religious and yet keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.” The scripture emphasizes what comes out of our mouths as Christians, as what comes out of our mouths is what you are. In the New Testament, Jesus taught that what is abundant in your heart is what you will talk about. Therefore, if you have hatred and envy in your heart, that can reflect gossiping.
Therefore, Christians should not indulge themselves in gossiping as it goes against the scripture’s teachings and God’s will. Christians should strive to give God glory with every word that comes out of their mouth.
How can Christians overcome gossiping?
There are healthy ways to communicate that do not involve gossiping. Gossiping mostly happens if one is after to destroy another person’s name so that they may feel exalted. The intentions behind gossiping are bad and filled with envy and hatred.
Therefore, the first step a Christian can take to overcome gossiping is to repent if they are already in the habit of gossiping. God is gracious enough to forgive anyone with a broken spirit before him, one who has confessed their sins and is seeking repentance. 2nd Chronicles 7:14 says, “Then if my people who are called by name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.”
Additionally, Christians should avoid being in idle spaces as it often leads to gossiping and slandering. 1st Timothy 5:12-13 says, “And so incur condemnation for abandoning their former faith. Besides that, they learn to idlers, going about house to house, but not only idlers but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not.” By refraining from being busybodies, they will hardly get themselves in places that force them to commit the sin of gossiping.
Consequently, we should let love fill our hearts. The Bible says whatever is abundant in our hearts is what we will speak. Christians should strive not to be jealous or envious of other brethren as that is what often results in gossiping. Learning to clap for others and celebrate their blessing will keep you away from slandering and gossiping. A Christian should always keep in mind to avoid gossiping that whatever words come out of one’s mouth, you will have to account for. Therefore, speak only what brings glory to God and uplifts others.
What Bible verses talk about gossiping?
Ephesians 4:29, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
2nd Corinthians 12:21, “For I am afraid that when I come, I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorder.”
James 4:11 reads, “Brothers and sisters, do not slander on another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or a sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.”
Leviticus 19:16 says, “Do not go about spreading slander among your people. Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life. I am the Lord.”
Proverbs 18:8 says, “The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts.”
Proverbs 11:9 says, “With their mouths, the godless destroy their neighbors, but through knowledge the righteous escape.”
Proverbs 11:3 notes, “Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.”
Proverbs 16:28 reads, “A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.”
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.