Ever been the victim of vicious gossip? Or, unknowingly got caught in the middle of it? Backbiting, gossip, breaking confidences whether the information is true or false is damaging. It hurts the victim for sure, but it also hurts everyone caught up in it.
Many years ago, I worked for a bank. At that time, my boss was the ring leader for gossiping about everyone who worked in our department. She would come into my office everyday to share “the latest gossip”. I was new on the job and so the first few times she did this I didn’t say anything. But, it became clear that she wanted to me to be part of her gossip group around the office. Being a Christian, I knew what the Bible says about this and I tried to be as polite and kind as I could, but I ended up telling her that I don’t like gossip and I would prefer it she would not discuss any more of it with me and to please talk to the person who she’s offended with rather than with me.
My response made her so angry that now I became the victim. She spread vicious rumors and outright lies about me many times and even tried to get the head of the department to fire me. It was one of the most difficult times of my life. However, I stayed true to my beliefs and I prayed for her salvation. In the end, she resigned. Sometimes, standing up for God will bring repercussions and you may even be hated, but if I had to do it again, I wouldn’t change anything.
The mouth is one of, if not the most, dangerous parts of the body. It boasts, brags, loves, hates, lies, speaks truth, prophesies, condemns, kisses, spits, smiles, and frowns.
The Bible is clear in James 3:5-10:
“Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.” (NKJV)
I like how Paul puts verse 10, “My brethren, these things ought not to be so.“ It hurts when we use our mouth to spread rumors or participate in gossip and the person doing it needs to know you won’t put up with it. It’s just as easy to approach the person rather than talk about them behind their back. Now, I know it’s hard to avoid people who like to gossip when you have to work with them, but I am living proof that God will stand by you for standing by your principles. He did it for me.