Can I tell you a secret? You have to promise not to tell anyone. I know some details about Gossip that you might find interesting. I’m sure, though, that Gossip wouldn’t want you to know these things, since he’s probably afraid that if you learned about him, it might remove some of his influence. Personally, I’d like him to lose some of his influence because he is…so…annoying. But maybe if I let you in on a few secrets about our friend—wait, is Gossip really our friend?—then maybe we can break some of his influence.
- Gossip is attractive. People gravitate toward Gossip because he lets you know the really important(!) stuff in life—like who said what to whom about what.
- Gossip is addictive. Whoever hangs out with Gossip discovers how difficult it is to break away from him. The more you learn about others, the more you want to learn.
- Gossip hinders you from entering into meaningful and fruitful conversations. People who frequently spend time with Gossip soon learn that he dominates discussions and redirects away from conversations of real substance—whether those discussions are about the Bible or about the wonderful world God has made.
- Gossip is harmful. He injures relationships and breaks down trust. The closer you get to Gossip, the worse your relationships with others will be. Many people, however, consider Gossip harmless. After all, he is such a fun conversationalist. Besides, it’s intriguing to talk and learn about the mistakes and secrets of others! But great harm has been generated by Gossip. He has ravaged relationships, trashed reputations, and damaged trust.
- Gossip is demonic at the core. He dresses in dapper duds and speaks smooth words that appear wise on the surface, but his heart is enlivened by trickery and treachery.
- Gossip’s power can be minimized by learning a truly important life lesson: You don’t always have to know everything. It’s okay not to know. To the degree that you are willing not to know things about others, to that degree you can minimize a lot of Gossip’s influence on you.
- Gossip’s influence can be broken through confession, accountability, and repeated rebuffs of his attempts to spend time with you. You are likely to encounter one difficulty while trying to avoid Gossip, however. He’s persistent! He’ll text, and call, and even stop by your house or workplace unannounced. But if you persevere, and keep insisting over a long enough period of time that he needs to stay away, he’ll eventually get the message.
- Don’t ever assume that you have entirely broken your habit of hanging out with Gossip. He’ll follow you to parties, family gatherings, and even church, hoping to lure you into another one of those intriguing conversations.
There you have it. I’ve tried to warn you about Gossip. But don’t tell anyone that I was the one who let you in on his secrets. I wouldn’t want it to get around. Otherwise, it might hurt my own reputation.
 James 3:15.
2 thoughts on “Gossip: The Inside Scoop”
Hi Ken. Thanks for these helpful insights to make us want to avoid gossip. I think we need help with the mechanics … what do I say to that person to stop them going on and on about so and so? Is it okay to say, “Do I need to know this?” and say it out loud? Stopping yourself is half the battle, but what about the other part about stopping others?
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I don’t know any easy way to handle a situation like this. Usually it is a matter of gently trying to redirect the conversation. Of course, if you have a closer relationship with the person with whom you are speaking, you might be able to be a bit more direct–perhaps at an opportune moment when the person with whom you are speaking might be more receptive. Thanks for your comment, Matthew.