«A gossip betrays a confidence; so, avoid anyone who talks too much» (Proverbs 20:19, NW).
The church of Corinth was a source of great concern to the apostle Paul. It was a congregating full of conflicts. In one of his letters, the servant of God confesses to the members: «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» (2 Corinthians 12:20). Gossip is a real burden that affects human relationships in its different fields. That is why it is necessary to combat it in a decisive way. In 1752, trying to fight the terrible effects of gossip, a group of knights, including John Wesley, who were given the name «Methodists,» signed a solemn covenant of six articles:
Not to listen to or try to find out something bad about others.
If they heard anything bad about someone, to not readily believe it.
To the extent of their possibilities, they would communicate what they had heard by speaking or writing to the person involved.
Until they did this, they would not write or talk about the matter to anyone else.
They would not even refer to the issue without having followed the first guidelines.
They would make no exception to any of these rules unless they felt absolutely obliged to do so at a meeting—R L. Tan, Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times, Garland, Texas: Bible Communications, Inc., 1996, p. 526.
An exaggeration? The truth is that gossip is not harmless. Its effects become terrible. Therefore, the Bible says clearly, «You shall not circulate a false report. DO not put your hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness» (Exodus 23:1). Pay attention to the following: «Our thoughts produce our words and our words react upon our thoughts. If a man forms the habit of using sacred words reverently, he will form the custom of carefulness of speech, knowing that there is a Witness to every word uttered. When the feelings become excited and the speech is exaggerated, the mode of speaking is always extreme. It acts and reacts upon ourselves»— The Voice in Speech and Song, ch. 25, p. 128. So the more you repeat a lie, the mind can come to accept it as truth.
Today ask the Lord to help you not to let gossip affect your life.