How many of us can resist a juicy piece of gossip? It’s all good as long as we’re not the ones being talked about. Right? For some of you conscientious people, you’re okay with it; so long as what is being said is true. Right?
For some of us, a little bit of “harmless office gist” or “industry gist” is what we use to amuse ourselves, keep abreast of what’s going on, and we see nothing wrong with passing on the latest “gist” about a colleague, a boss, or someone we all know.
But what does God think about this? Recently, God has been seriously dealing with me on this issue. He’s been constantly leading me to scripture that tells me to guard my speech and watch what kind of conversations I participate in. and I believe this discipline is not for me alone. It’s for everyone, and that’s why I’m sharing it.
Check this: Proverbs 10:18 (NLT) “Hiding hatred makes you a liar; slandering others makes you a fool”.
Looking at this verse casually, you might think since you don’t “hate” anyone, it doesn’t apply to you. But let’s consider this for a second. The word hate means feeling intense dislike or aversion toward something or someone. Some of the people you engage in this “gist” with, what are their feelings towards the person(s) being talked about? Can you really be sure of their motives for bringing up the conversation? Examine your own heart and the conversation properly, why do you really want to talk about that person; especially if the “gist” is about some indiscretion? Just be honest with your heart.
Secondly, what does slander really mean? It means a malicious, false, and defamatory statement or report about someone.
How many of those “Gists” are spread with malicious intent? Proverbs 17:4 (NLT) says Wrongdoers eagerly listen to gossip; liars pay close attention to slander. What does that tell you?
Proverbs 4:24 (NLT) Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech. “Corrupt speech” is any conversation that does not edify your spirit and does not glorify God.
Proverbs 11:12 (NLT)
“It is foolish to belittle one’s neighbor; a sensible person keeps quiet.”
I must tell you, I’m learning. And the Holy Spirit is the master teacher. When you listen to him, spend more time in the word, spend more time in fellowship and prayer and you’ll begin to see yourself attracted to the right type of conversations.
You should also make a determination to physically distance yourself from where such talk is taking place. I understand that it might be difficult, some people might not understand your decisions, but I can assure you it’s totally worth it.
Above all, always remember who you are. God loves you!