In 2012, a study was conducted by Georgia Institute of Technology on a company called Enron. The study showed the prevalence of gossip in a dying company, claiming that one out of seven email interactions were gossip-related.
Gossip can be extremely destructive and detrimental to any form of relationship. Whether it be professional or casual, a relationship fails to grow and may even die if plagued by the occurrence of gossip.
Gossip doesn't have to be rooted in a lie to be dangerous. When people stick their noses into information that does not concern them and start to maliciously disseminate that information, it never leads to anything good.
The Bible also speaks against the occurrence of gossip or any destructive talk. 2 Corinthians 12:20 says, "For I fear that perhaps when I come I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish—that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder."
Here are five destructive fruits that gossip brings to a relationship.
Once someone has been determined by people to be a chronic gossiper (and people will find out), it would be hard and close to impossible to trust them to be transparent or rely on them. Trust is always given as a whole, and one who cannot be trusted in one area is rarely trusted in other areas.
Proverbs 26:20 says, "For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases." Many times, gossip can be the root of many quarrels, fights and arguments in companies, families, friendships and ministries.
Gossip never exists in a positive tone. Gossip is only expected to increase pessimism amongst all people involved in the ruckus. Ephesians 4:29 instructs us instead, "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear."
Gossip builds unhealthy cliques within a community instead of one body that exists only to keep the whole one. 1 Corinthians 10:10 calls us, however, to value unity and oneness: "I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought."
When mistrust is the base of relationships, lies and inauthenticity become the nature of our interactions. It can be extremely difficult to open up once more to people who are ruled by a tongue of gossip.