Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Monday, February 27, 2017

How to Handle Gossip

Here are a few suggestions for what to do when you are on the receiving end of gossip:

1. Draw their attention to Romans 1:29-32: “They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.” And 2 Corinthians 12:20: “For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.”

The first reference is speaking of unbelievers; the second one of believers, or at least church members. Gossip has no place in the Christian life. Notice the other sins that are listed along with it. Gossip is not a little sin!

2. Listen to the gossip and write it down word for word. Read it back to the gossiper. Ask him/her, “Is this true?” If the gossiper says that he/she doesn’t know, ask the gossiper why they repeated it. If the gossiper says that it is true, then request that they sign their name under your transcript of what was said.

3. Listen to the gossip. Ask for a confirmation of the truth of it. Then say, “Let’s go and correct this person together about this awful thing you say they did.”

4. Walk away. Do not listen.

This action will have three effects:

• Some of the people will quit gossiping.
• Some will now gossip about you.
• You will be left out of the gossip circuit.

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