«Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him» (Proverbs 29:20).
Victor Hugo (1802-1885), the admirable French writer, referred to the nature of people who gossip in his work Les Misérables: «There exist beings who, for the sake of obtaining the key to these enigmas, which are, moreover, of no consequence whatever to them, spend more money, waste more time, take more trouble, than would be required for ten good actions, and that gratuitously, for their own pleasure, without receiving any other payment for their curiosity than Curiosity’—p. 307.
That’s right. The gossiper meddles in matters that are indifferent to him and does not mind investing time, money, and effort to satisfy his morbid curiosity. He lives to delve into the lives of others, always waiting to discover new episodes worthy of commenting on with his supporters. In this regard, Victor Hugo adds: «Certain persons are malicious solely through a necessity for talking. Their conversation, the chat of the drawing room, gossip of the anteroom, is like those chimneys which consume wood rapidly; they need a great amount of combustible; and their combustible are furnished by their neighbors»—pp. 307, 308.
Irresponsible opinions and hasty judgments can seriously affect the lives of others. The serious thing is that there are people who seem to have the need to gossip and feed their minds of all kinds of murmuring, entanglements, and slander. In fact, they prepare a breeding ground that will bring terrible consequences to them as well as to those around them. But it is not necessary for you to be a gossiper, it is enough to just be around a big mouth to win yourself a problem for free.
Ellen White says this about the use of the words: «How careful we should be, that our words and actions are all in harmony with the sacred truth that God has committed to us! . . . When you are associated together, be guarded in your words. Let your conversation be of such a nature that you will have no need of repentance . . If the love of the truth is in your heart, you will talk of the truth. You will talk of the blessed hope that you have in Jesus. If you have love in your heart, you will seek to establish and build up your brother in the most holy faith. If a word is dropped that is detrimental to the character of your friend or brother, do not encourage this evil speaking. It is the work of the enemy. Kindly remind the speaker that the Word of God forbids that kind of conversation»—The Voice in Speech and Song, ch. 30, p. 153.
Do not tolerate listening to gossip or consent to listening to rumors, slander, and gossip that destroys others. Gossip has no foothold when no one pays attention to it.
Today ask the Lord to help you be a prudent person when you speak and to be a good influence to those around you.