3 devastating effects of gossip

(Photo: Unsplash/Matthew Henry)

Gossiping is a dangerous and ungodly habit that many Christians have, but shouldn't have. By this, friends are separated and lives are destroyed. It is very divisive and causes lives to be affected negatively.

Have you been a victim of a gossiping tongue? If you have, then you most likely have seen the ugly things that it does.

The Bible tells us that we should not gossip. In Leviticus 19:16, God commands all His people,

"You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people; nor shall you take a stand against the life of your neighbor: I am the Lord."

Usually, idle people are the ones who are tempted to gossip. We are told do what we can to avoid gossiping. Idle young widows, for example, are told to "marry, bear children, manage the house, give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully" (see 1 Timothy 5:14). This way, there'd be no room to gossip.

Dangers of Gossiping

But why are we warned not to gossip? Aside from the fact that it is not fitting for God's people and that God doesn't want it, gossiping is a very dangerous thing.

To help you see just how bad gossiping could be, here are some of the dangers it brings.

1) It brings people down

The Bible tells us in Ephesians 4:29 to "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers."

Gossiping, also called slander or "evil speaking" (in Ephesians 4:31) corrupts hearers. When we gossip about certain people to others, we poison them with the wrong things. We influence them to think wrong about people we know and don't know, even though these wrong thoughts are unfounded and false.

In a cinch, gossiping brings people down. It simply discourages people from hoping for better relationships.

2) It destroys a person's name and reputation

Proverbs 11:9 tells us that "The hypocrite with his mouth destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge the righteous will be delivered." Gossips destroy others with their tongue.

Gossiping destroys people. It paints wrong pictures of its victims and presents them in a way that isn't true, and often destroys their reputation to the point that people will hate them.

The Lord Jesus knows this to be true, because He had no sin yet false charges were made against Him.

3) It divides

Proverbs 16:28 tells us that "A perverse man sows strife, and a whisperer separates the best of friends." Gossips divide people against each other, even to the point that best friends are no longer friends anymore.

Gossiping divides whatever group of people it enters: families, friends, colleagues, even groups in church. It does this by spreading lies and inciting people to doubt and distrust.