The Ear Of Gossip

October 16, 2019
by Matthew Ruttan

When I think of the word "gossip", I think of Rachel Lynde from Anne of Green Gables.

She constantly snooped, made judgments, and then scattered her version of the "news" to other people around the town of Avonlea by flapping her unstoppable gums.

But hear what the Bible says: "Wrongdoers eagerly listen to gossip; liars pay close attention to slander." (Proverbs 17:4 NLT)

In other words, it's also wrong to "listen" to gossip, and to "pay attention" to slander. We perpetuate gossip not just by speaking half-truths about other people, but by going along with it in silence.

Maybe, we sometimes go along with it because, on some deep, unhealthy level, we want to believe the worst about someone. Or maybe, we just enjoy snacking on someone else's dirt.

And there are other times when we're thinking more clearly, when we know that we don't like it, but simply don't know what to do.

Sometimes, breaking the cycle is as simple as saying, "You know, I'm not sure that that's the whole story," or, "Well, it sounds like a tough situation that we should pray about." That can send the signal that unfounded negativity isn't welcome.

Wrongdoers eagerly listen to gossip; liars pay close attention to slander.

Prayer: Lord, help us to break the cycle of gossip and to think, speak, and act in a way that honours You and Your people. In Jesus' perfect name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Matthew Ruttan <matthew@matthewruttan.com>
Barrie, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen, Matthew.


    Great point and solution. Thanks for sharing.


    So true, Matthew. Thanks for your suggestions!


    Good response to apply.
    Well done.


    Thank you, Matthew, for sharing this word with us today. Blessings.


    Thank you, Matthew for the piece on gossip that you wrote today. Gossip can be harmful! Blessings.


    Thank you, Matthew, for this timely reminder about gossip.
    Thanks so much!


    So true! Fake news has become the new gossip. We need discernment and wisdom more than ever in our day. Thanks.


    Matthew,
    Thanks for this reflection and for giving us ‘alternative’ responses.
    (CA)


    Hi Matthew.
    Thanks for your deeper explanation of God’s words.
    They remind me to look deeper into myself.
    Blessings.


    Matthew, I agree wholeheartedly with what you say. It’s so easy to leave out some important bits that God has said and just go with the bits we think apply to others. We ourselves need to be humbled, and to seek holiness – not superiority. Thank you so much.


    I told the lady who was gossiping about the minister of the church she had previously gone, and I just said Sorry I do not listen to gossip anything else is ok. Nobody at our church has involved me in gossip since just the truth on the prayer list and that is ok.
    (ON)


    Good morning Matthew,
    Good words about “Gossip.” These days, during an election campaign we see so much of it don’t we. I have reached the point that it has turned me right off.
    Blessings.


    Hello Matthew,
    Thanks for this meaningful devotional. Yes, it is so easy to take for truth words and rumours we hear, but we need be mindful that it is God’s word that takes priority and must be heeded.
    Blessings to you,
    (B.C.)


    Hi Matthew,
    I heard a sermon a little while back, where the pastor was talking about gossip, He said, “If someone says, ‘Did you know that … did this?’ I answer, ‘I don’t.’” I like that – l don’t know, and l don’t care to know about it.
    And with that, l show my disinterest in listening to gossip. I am remembering that for future conversational snares!
    Blessings.


    Hello Neighbour!! Loved the devotional this morning. So true.


    With so much slander flying about just now this is very timely.
    Thanks for sharing.


    Dear Matthew Ruttan,
    Thanks for the anti-gossip devotional.
    Thank you.

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