Gossip, as defined by the web, is “casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true”. Whether we were the ones instigating the gossip or whether we were the bystanders that couldn’t muster the courage to stop it, gossiping has been a source of sin for virtually everyone. But imagine if there existed a committee of people who physically hurt the person for every negative word that was spoken over them. For example, a small insult may equate to a pinch in their cheek and cursing the person may equate to a punch in their stomach. If that were the case, would you still find yourself gossiping? Or would you be more cognizant of what you say, because you realize the potential consequences of the words that come out of your mouth?
This imagination is not hypothetical, but a reality. Two verses immediately come to my mind concerning this topic:
- Proverbs 25:18: “Telling lies about others is as harmful as hitting them with an ax, wounding them with a sword, or shooting them with a sharp arrow.”
- Proverbs 18:21: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
Speaking is second nature to humans, so it’s really easy to blurt things we don’t really mean, but we must realize the importance of everything that comes out of our mouths. When we speak critically of others—regardless of how insignificant the comment may be—we open doors for the Devil to use the words we declared to attack, discourage, and curse the individual.
There’s a common saying that goes like this: Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.
Sure, if you’re emotionally tough, insults and curses may not seem as hurtful as a physical attack, but things are happening in the supernatural with every word that comes out of our mouths. The Bible refers to what we say as “full of deadly poison”¹, a “sword thrust”² or “honey”³ depending on the content of our words. With that in mind, it is crucial to learn to use our words not to bring others down, but rather to edify and encourage those surrounding us.
Remember, as Christians, we are fighting in a spiritual warfare every single day. Our tongue is a deadly weapon that can be used for either God’s side of the battle or the enemy’s, and it is ultimately in our hands to decide whose side we are on. The next time you’re about to talk about someone, ask yourself if what you say would help, uplift, or encourage that person. If not, don’t bother saying anything at all. As Ephesians 4:29 says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
1: James 3:8
2: Proverbs 12:18
3: Proverbs 16:24