A Question to Ask Before Hearing Gossip
Gossip is tasty. It’s always interesting to know what is going on in other people’s lives. It makes our own, dull existences more interesting. Dislikes shared by two people are better at binding them together than common interests. The gossiper feels powerful as they possess secret information than others don’t know but very much want.
The Bible says:
Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. James 1:26
The next time someone offers you juicy information about another, ask them: ‘Why are you telling me this?’
This simple question will reveal the gossip’s motives. If they cannot come up with a good answer, their intentions are wicked. If they do give a good answer, it’s not gossip and they may proceed. Beware of the answer ‘because I want you to pray about it’. Christians should indeed pray intelligently and in an informed manner, but the Lord already knows the details; the pray-er need not be an expert on the situation for his prayers to be effective.
Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble. Proverbs 21:23