Here are a few suggestions on how to handle gossip:
1) Draw the gossiper’s attention to Romans 1:29-32 (see above) and 2 Corinthians 12:20:
“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 quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder” (2 Corinthians 12:20).
Romans lists gossip among the characteristics of unbelievers. Gossip has no place in the Christian life. Notice the other willful sins listed with it. Gossip is not a small matter.
2) Listen to the gossip and write it down word-for-word. Read it back to the gossiper. Ask him/her, “Is that true?” If the gossiper says that he/she doesn’t know, ask why it was repeated. If the gossiper says that it is true, ask him/her to sign his/her name under the written quote.
3) Listen to the gossip. Ask for confirmation of the truth of it. Then say, “Let’s both go and correct the person you are telling this awfulness about.”
4) Do not listen. Walk away.
This action will have three effects:
- Some people will quit gossiping.
- Some will gossip about you.
- You will be left out of the gossip circuit.
This post coordinates with yesterday’s reading in the To the Word! Bible Reading Challenge. If you are not in a daily reading plan, please join us at TotheWord.com. We would love to have you reading with us.