Gossip means to spread rumors or discuss someone’s personal life behind their back. Sensationalizing or spreading false information about a person’s intimate matters is commonplace amongst the youth. But words can be mangled and facts misrepresented to form something which does not contain a grain of truth. This complete disregard for someone’s privacy ends up hurting many people and in the end leaves you feeling guilty.
Any conversation that you have about someone behind their back is gossip because it is likely to involve damaging and malicious rumors. The tidbits could be true but once they are spread from one person’s lips to the next, the truth is distorted and everyone misconstrues the information. This can be damaging to a person’s reputation. In colleges and workplaces gossip can spread like wildfire and soon it reaches the person it is about.
Even if what you say about a person is true it is still not right to invade their privacy by discussing their character or private matters behind their back. Gossip can be humiliating and it leads to bullying and alienation of a person in the society. The bible says about spreading gossip:
A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends. (Proverbs 16:28 ESV)
A comprehensive Bible study will tell you that passing a biting remark or making fun of someone when they are not present there is a form of gossip and frowned upon by Jesus Christ. Indulging in secret jokes at the others expense is talked about in the book explicitly:
The north wind brings forth rain, and a backbiting tongue, angry looks (Proverbs 25:23 ESV)
But what should a person do when everyone around them is talking about a certain person in an unpleasant manner? It is simple! Just walk away. Even listening to gossip can make you as guilty as the one who is propagating the lies. When the gossipmonger loses his/her audience they also lose interest thus ending the vicious cycle.
For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases (Proverbs 26:20 ESV).
If all young people follow this advice and refuse to listen to slander and pay attention to any rumors, the rumor would die down and the gossiping would end. Following God’s commands as learned in
Bible study it is better to not spend time with such people and cut them out of your life. If you ever find yourself in a situation where it is impossible to walk away then just change the topic or tell them you are not comfortable discussing that person’s life. As said in the Holy Book:
You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a malicious witness. (Exodus 23:1 ESV)
Also gossip may appear casual but it actually brings serious consequences for the perpetrator.
Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will destroy; No one who has a haughty look and an arrogant heart will I endure (Psalm 101:5 ESV)