30 Days to Taming Your Tongue - What you say (and don't say) will improve your relationships by Deborah Smith Pegues
Day Ten - The Gossiping Tongue
The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man's inmost parts - Proverbs 18:8
Do you sometimes engage in idle and often malicious talk about the personal affairs of another? Gossip can be such a delectable "choice morsel" that many find it impossible to resist. Now, I'm certain everyone reading this has been guilty of partaking of this popular pastime -- either as a bearer or a hearer at one time or another.Did you know that gossiping can lower your sense of self-worth? How? When you gossip, you tend to realize you are not walking in integrity. We feel best about ourselves when we do things that are pleasing to God; after all, He created us for His pleasure.
What's the solution? How do you stop gossiping? Catch yourself before you indulge! Ask yourself why you are being a bearer of such news. Is this the only way you know how to establish camaraderie with others? Do you need to be the center of attention? Does it make you feel superior to know something negative about somebody that the hearer doesn't know? Are you envious of your subject's accomplishments? Why are you willing to use the temple of God as a "trash receptacle" by being a receiver of gossip? What do you plan to do with the information a gossip shares with you? Are you bored with your life and need more meaningful activities? It has been observed that those who are ardently pursuing their own goals and aspirations are less likely to waste time discussing the affairs of another.
If you are serious about eliminating gossip from your life, you must start an all-out campaign against it. Let everyone know you will not be a bearer or hearer of "choice morsels" about anyone. Declare your environment, whether at work, at home, or at play, to be a "gossip-free zone." Make every effort to avoid gossip mongers. Proverbs 20:19 warns, A gossip tells secrets, so don't hang around with someone who talks too much.
Refusing to engage in gossip may result in fewer visitors and phone calls; however, your impact will be far-reaching. You will be able to humbly declare, with complete dependence on the Father, Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer - Psalm 19:14 when your tongue is used as an instrument of righteousness.
I am not a busybody in other people's matters. Therefore, I do not yield my tongue as an instrument of gossip.