A Life Stirred

What is Gossip?

on October 7, 2014

Alright, so as you know, the goal of this blog journey is to “Tame the Tongue”.  It’s been a week, and so far, I’ve given zero practical steps in accomplishing that goal.

That’s probably driving you crazy.

However, I believe that a big part of “Taming the Tongue” is identifying how the tongue needs to be tamed.  We need to recognize where we need to be changed.  We need to see our sin and feel godly grief.  Because godly grief leads to repentance and salvation.  And who doesn’t want a little more of that?!

So, let’s talk about gossip.  Who’s excited?

When God revealed to me that I had been gossiping, He also revealed the different forms that gossip can take.  It was a bit overwhelming.  And eye opening.

Yup, it was *that* overwhelming.

What is gossip?

It can be…

  • Textbook gossip—spreading information (true or not) for the sake of defaming someone.
  • Venting—sharing frustrations to a third party without any interest in hearing Biblical truth or counsel.
  • Passive. Passive gossip can include things like reading celebrity “news”, knowingly listening to someone else gossip, or deliberately reading hurtful blog or facebook comments.
  • Prayer requests. Sometimes a prayer request can simply be a disguised bit of gossip.  This one is a bit tricky to navigate.  But I’ve been in those scenarios where a prayer request was really just gossip…and it feels different from a legit prayer request.
  • Sharing news (good or bad) that isn’t ours to share. If someone shares something with us, we must assume that it was shared in confidence (unless otherwise indicated).

This list isn’t comprehensive.  But it’s a start.  It’s where I started.  I tended to participate in the venting, passive, and news-sharing categories of gossip (ugh, that’s a lot of categories).

Part of me wants to defend my actions as harmless.  I wasn’t hurting anyone.  I was just venting.  I was just sharing what someone told me.  I was just reading a heated string of Facebook comments (and forming opinions about the participants).  I was just listening to a friend share.  Oh, the excuses.

Yet, regardless of the form, gossip is always hurtful.  It always has an effect.  That effect may be immediate or it may be delayed, but there are always consequences for our sins.

That is why I must learn to tame my tongue.  I do not want my words to cause hurt.  I want to speak life and love and grace.

Can you think of any more forms of gossip?   Which category of gossip do you tend towards?    

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3 responses to “What is Gossip?

  1. Renee says:

    Great post Carley! Love the graphics
    Unfortunately I used to participate heavily in gossip (textbook and venting) and always felt awful. There is no glory or joy to be found in any form of gossip. And I’m learning how to deal with passive gossiping. I hear others gossiping or demeaning others and I chose not to say anything out of fear of hurting the “offender”. I think I need to focus on; Proverbs 12:18
    “The words of the reckless pierce like swords but the tongue of the wise brings healing”

    • Carley Morse says:

      MMmm….that’s a good verse! I might use that in a post later on. 🙂

      Passive gossip is the hardest…because you aren’t in charge of what other people say. I think it’s a heart thing…even in the listening. Because there’s a difference in listening to someone gossip and passively gossiping (where you want to hear what they have to say).

      • Renee says:

        Hmm, I guess that’s food for thought! I don’t enjoy hearing the “gossip”, at all, but I haven’t gotten the courage to stop it. So I feel partially responsible. I got to say, this (your) journey into gossip has helped me differentiate between venting and gossip. It really does come down to it being a heart issue and is God glorified with what comes out of your mouth or what you allow to go into your ears?

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