Truthful Words: Why Do We Gossip?

If gossip is so destructive, why do we do it? I think there are two reasons. First, gossip is so common in this fallen world that we can easily perceive it as a relatively minor offense in God’s eyes. We tend to see these speech sins as less serious than sins of physical action, like murder and adultery. But such a distinction is completely foreign to the Bible. Murder and adultery may be more dramatic than gossip and slander, but in terms of greater and lesser degrees of sinfulness, Scripture draws no lines.

For example, in Romans 1:29–31, the apostle Paul includes gossip and slander in the list of the perversions describing those who have rejected God:

They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless (emphasis mine).

In 1 Corinthians 6:9–10, Paul places slander in the company of many deplorable offenses:

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God (emphasis mine).

Second, we engage in gossip simply because we like to. Our sinful nature finds it exciting to share a secret or to air other people’s dirty laundry. Gossip feeds our pride and gives us a sense of power and superiority—at someone else’s expense.

Excerpted from A Proverbs Driven Life by Anthony Selvaggio

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