What do you consider the worst sins? It’s easy to think of murder and stealing as a heinous sin. Do you consider Gossip sin? I didn’t make my list either. Gossip is one of those acceptable sins that I tend to ignore Probably because it is a sin I struggle with…
Why is it that Gossip is still something that lives and breaths in my life?!?!? This is one I’ve struggled with since childhood and still it rears its ugly head in me! But we see that Gossip steals our Peace of mind.
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things” Philippians 4:8 NASB.
This Word study has been helping me Battle Anxiety
Do you struggle with Anxiety? I’d love to share a 40-day reading and Journaling Plan I use. It’s Free below.
So what does Good Repute mean?
Good Repute means ‘kind’ or ‘of a good report as a true friend’. The opposite of Good Repute would be Gossip.
Can thoughts be considered Gossip?
The truth is some days I wallow in negative, complaining, anxious thinking. The problem with letting my thoughts run wild is that they eventually come out of my mouth and hurt the people I love. Can you relate?
When I let those thoughts spin and spin in my head they get blown out of proportion, they take on a life of their own many times. I can justify why others need to hear them even when they are not based on facts or worse they are spin-offs of something shared by a 3rd party.
To Stop Gossip I have to run my thoughts and conversations through a series of Checks:
Thought Check # 1: If this thought left my mouth, would I wound that friendship?
Gossip ruins friendships. I have to be sure that if someone tells me something in confidence, I can be trusted with it (Proverbs 11:13).
If it would hurt them or make them think twice before confiding in me again, it is not of good repute.
When the thought fails this check:
I have to take hold of it and push it out of my mind so that it will not eventually come out of my mouth.
Thought Check # 2: Am I sharing this for selfish reasons?
If this conversation is for the theses reasons I need to stop it:
- When it could impress others
- Make me look important
- Proves a point
- Make others sympathize with me
Philippians 2:3-4 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
This verse could easily read “Don’t try to get ahead by hurting someone else.”
I have messed up on this one; hurt people to climb the ladder, used others trying to impress people… even by sharing them as “prayer requests”. (This is gossip if it was shared confidentially!)
Gossip seems good at the time but the Long Term results are not worth it!
When life gets hard, I will no longer be trusted… not by the person I betrayed or by the people who heard me.
Learning to stand on my own merit and experience required a change of thinking.
Stop Gossip before it has a Chance to Start!
There are many reasons to listen when someone shares hard things, sensitive things from a genuine Heart. But to stop the temptation to share them later I’ve changed my pattern.
- Pray for them in that moment and in my quiet time -just me a God (Matthew 18: 19-20).
- Encourage them often – privately (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
- Do not share even a hint of the situation unless they ask me to.
When I am talking with the person about the situation regularly it reminds me it is theirs, not mine to share.
Do you get sucked into Gossip before you realized it was happening? Me too! Wham just like that we are speculating about the situation or person when it is none of our business.
These are some ways to exit the conversation (but be warned people will act differently toward you for a while)
- “This sounds like gossip and I don’t want to talk about it.”
- “I’m not a part of that situation so I can’t say what is happening, let’s go talk to ‘so and so’ about it”
- “Have you asked ‘so and so’ directly, they would be the one to know?”
When we take our thoughts captive and work to avoid gossip we will have Peace of Mind. It is amazing to me how quickly it comes when I am intentional in thinking thoughts that are of “Good Repute”!