Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers.
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene.
2 Timothy 2:14-16
My last blog addition came from years ago and another writer's post which I can not find any longer on the net. His post was too good to let go, and it was my fault it took 3 years to post.
For the second part on this subject of gossip I have my own testimony from a story decades ago when I would have said that I didn’t gossip. ~ That is, until I realized one day that I was listening and desiring to listen to the other women as they gossiped.
Decades ago and another state:
At that time I worked in a public elementary school as a Librarian twice a week, and also as a Lunch Lady every day of the week. It was a lovely old 2 story building with two front entries, classrooms on both sides, with the big Library room in the middle front, and the office and other rooms across the hall opposite from the Library.
Part of my first duties in the mornings as a Librarian was to make out the overdue book slips to put into the teachers' mailboxes so they could pick them up as soon as possible for their students. After this was accomplished I would be in the office for a while distributing these slips.
While in the office I had the comradery of the adult ladies, the sweet secretary and the friendly head Lunch Lady, and any other teachers who came in to the office at that time. I would normally just be listening to them all talk and I enjoyed them. Normally, no one was speaking bad about anyone.
As time went by, though, I did find myself hearing things which should not have been spoken about certain students and parents. In my mind I justified myself as it was not me speaking, although I was listening and desiring to listen.
As I grew closer to the LORD in those many months, I realized I did not want to hear these things which were private any longer. I was, thankfully, discerning what was going on ~ it had been me wanting to listen to the ladies I had admired, but now I was realizing it was wrong to hear them discuss things about other people’s lives.
After coming to this realization I did my Librarian duties, and then, I was in and out of the office very quickly. Praise God!
Gossip may not be coming out of your mouth, but you may be choosing to listen to it.
Let the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.