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Summary: Most Christians don't take the sin of gossip seriously. Here is what the Word says about it.

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The Sin Of Gossip

Proverbs 11:13 “13A gossip goes around telling secrets, but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence.

You and I don't take the sin of gossip as seriously as we ought.

Gossiper or Encourager?

Do you remember an Olympic skier by the name of Picabo Street. Picabo [pronounced “peek-a-boo”] She is, or was the well-known Olympic gold medalist in the Super G a few years ago. But, she is more than a famous skier. In fact, between training on the slopes and traveling around the world to compete, she managed to get an education and earn a degree in nursing. Early in her nursing career, she worked briefly as an ICU nurse in a large metropolitan hospital.

She did outstanding work. But there was a problem. The head of nursing had to tell her not to answer the phone in ICU because of the confusion it caused callers. Callers would be connected to ICU and hear Picabo say in her best professional voice: “Picabo, ICU.”

True story? No way.

Picabo is not now a nurse, has never been a nurse, and as far as I know, doesn’t particularly want to be a nurse.

But she gets the joke. Since she was a child, she’s been teased about her name. Her parents got it from an Idaho town that takes its name from a Native American word meaning “shining waters.”

Picabo, ICU. It’s was just rumor.

Picabo has a problem, and so do we: We cannot resist the temptation to spread a good story, whether it is true or not.

(Do you know when it all began? Do these words sound familiar “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

The Bible tells us in James Chaper 3

“the tongue is a fire,”

• it can set an entire forest ablaze (3:5-6),

• it’s dangerous and destructive,

• its power is far greater than its size,

• it’s like a tiny rudder that can guide a huge ship,

• it’s like a small bridle that controls the movement of a large horse (vv. 3-4)

a. We would if we understood it better.

b. Seems like a small sin when compared to others.

c. It is not a small sin to God

Prov. 11:13 A gossip goes around telling secrets

Prov 16:28 A gossip separates the best of friends.

Prov 18:8 The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; Prov 20:19, “A gossip goes around telling secrets,

Prov 26:20, “and quarrels disappear when gossip stops.

Prov 26: 22 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels;

they go down to a man's inmost parts.

2 Cor 12:20 For I am afraid that when I come I won’t like what I find, and you won’t like my response. I am afraid that I will find quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorderly behavior.

The evil of Gossip-You may quickly agree that gossip is a sin, but are you guilty of redefining terms, making excuses and calling your evil words good

I. WHAT IS GOSSIP?

A. What exactly is gossip?

Webster defines gossip in two ways both as a noun and as a verb. As a noun, a gossip is a person who habitually reveals personal or sensational facts. As a verb, gossip is a rumor or report of an intimate nature.

It could be said that gossip is nothing more than spreading supposed facts about another person in a sensational way. Nothing more than airing someone else’s dirty laundry to gain attention for themselves.

The sad reality of the matter is this: a gossip is a person who will talk about others with you and then talks to others about you.

I believe the best definition of gossip that I have found is this: gossip is saying something, even if it is true, with the intent to cause personal harm. By that definition we are all guilty.

• The family member that is considered to be a dead beat

• Co-worker is just plain lazy

• Person at church just gets on my nerves

B. Here's the key for getting a handle on gossip--it is information about another person TRUE or NOT, showing them in a less than positive light.

1. Hebrew word for "slander" simply means "bad report."

a. It's what Joseph did to his brothers (Gen. 37:2). Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report.

b. There was a law against this sort of thing in Israel (Lev. 19:16). “Do not spread slanderous gossip among your people.

c. Illust. Debbie Scales, in an article in Christian Woman magazine, says: "This verse brings to mind the picture of a person making her way through the ranks of the already murmuring and unhappy Israelite travelers. As she goes up and down among the people, she whispers the latest news of the camp. `Don't quote me on this, but I've heard that Moses may be on his way out. There are other men, you know, who could lead just as well as Moses anyway--probably better. And by the way, have you noticed how the Zuriel family is always the first group out to gather manna every morning? I probably shouldn't even mention it, but there's no need to be greedy, if you ask me. Oh, there go those rambunctious Ashbel boys again! I do wish their parents would control them a little better. I don't like to talk about people, but he way they let those boys behave is just a shame!'"

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