All of us could write an authoritative paper about how gossip has hurt us. We all have been deeply hurt because of unfair rumors. Gossip, whether we are repeating it or listening to it, is bad, and we know it. Yet we engage in it. Why?
One reason is voyeurism. We like to hear how other people mess up. Viewing into their unseemly private lives makes us feel superior. After all, we would never let ourselves get into that kind of a mess.
Another reason is jealousy. We like to see someone who has higher social standing or authority get knocked down a peg or two.
When we feel bad about ourselves, we talk about others. Somehow we feel better when we portray others as evil or stupid.
Sometimes it is peer pressure. We want to be in the know and everyone is talking about what is going on with their victim. Unfortunately, gossip can be a form of bullying. Even as adults we often lack the courage to stand up to bullies.
Sadly, we make ourselves feel like it is okay to gossip when we put the gossip in the form of a prayer request. We like to show off our insider knowledge and forget that most of the details should not be mentioned. A short, one-sentence request for pray is generally best.
When is gossip most difficult for you to resist?
Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends. Proverbs 17:9
Resolved Day 8: I will not listen to or repeat gossip today.