Idle talk

May 15, 2107

Dear Friends:

A question came up from several friends over the past two days about what “gossip” is and what to do about it.  It seems that gossip is a problem not only in Hollywood, but in churches, camps, gyms,among friends, etc, etc.  We all know what gossip is when the remarks are about us, and we don’t like, it, but what to do about it?

I confess that I say things about others that I don’t need to say, but the remarks just seem to blurt out before I think about what I am saying!   I can tell it’s gossip because of the sick feeling I get in my stomach after I have said it. By then, of course, it’s too late and the damage is done——and my reputation has also suffered.

Whereas I don’t have the last word on what it is, I can tell you what I have learned about “idle talk”:  I should always ask myself,  (1)is it true, (2) is it helpful, (3)is it neccesary, and (4)  if I was the subject of the conversation, what would I want others to be saying.  If I would always take those four  considerations into mind, I would refrain from gossiping. It’s a certainty that Christ did not gossip and that it does no good at all in building up the body of Christ.

Reprimands, rebukes and a tough word might need to be said from time to time, but it should be said to the offender and to him/her alone or not at all. It’s the talk behind my back or me speaking behind another friend’s back that destroys unity and focus in Christian endeavors.

One interesting point to end with: Have you ever noticed that the very people who gossip the most are the very ones that are also gossiped about the most?  Again, what goes around seems to come around.


Dean Barley


1 comment

  • JEan KIvette

    So true, Dean. I really try not to gossip, but I don’t always make it. Thanks for sharing this. Maybe I can remember what you said and do better with God’s help.

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