One of the worst enemies anyone can have is invisible.
This enemy lurks in the shadows to attack, and can travel the world in an instant. It is exceptionally powerful and those who are attacked by it are helpless to defend themselves.
The enemy I speak of is gossip.
Gossip has enormous power to destroy a person’s reputation. It can separate the best of friends—as our verse today indicates. The pain and devastation gossip causes is often impossible to repair.
What is gossip?
Gossip is many things. Gossip often includes untrue comments against another person. Gossip is not careful to check the facts about a matter and often, in repeating the sad story, there are details added that are pure lies and exaggeration.
However, gossip can also be unwarranted repetition of truth.
For example, someone may have been caught in a sin, repented of it, and been restored to the fellowship of the church. Anyone who repeat the facts of this Christian’s downfall would be gossiping.
To tell someone that another person had an affair is gossip, and therefore sin.
There is no merit—or virtue—in telling another person about someone’s downfall. Paul said in Ephesians 5:12 “…it is shameful even to speak of those things which they do in secret.”
Repeating the evil story of someone else’s sin is sin in itself. That is the irony of gossip. People who tattle or gossip about someone else are committing sin themselves and do not recognize it.
Many gossips get a form of pleasure in repeating gossip. They hardly recognize that their pleasure in talking about someone else’s sin only indicates how evil their own hearts are.
Perhaps today you have been wounded by gossip. Others have told the negative truth—or some lies—about you. There is nothing you can do to reverse the damage done to yourself and to your family. There is no place to hide from their sinful tongues.
If this describes your situation, go to the Lord and tell Him all about your sorrow.
The gossip may ruin your reputation with people, but remember that your Father in heaven knows the truth. He esteems you and will deal with those who gossip in His time and way. Leave the matter to Him.
Be courageous about walking well in this life. As long as the Lord knows your heart it is enough.