Most of us know gossip is bad. Really bad. But let’s be honest—does a day go by without us hearing or participating in some form of gossip?

If we know it’s so bad, then why do we tolerate gossip?

I think we gossip because we’re terrified of intimacy. Let me explain . . .

Our word “intimacy” comes from the Latin in timor, which is literally translated “into fear.” Deep relationships and connection invite us to faceoff with fear. Intimacy requires us to soar beyond the superficial barriers of our being, and that’s terrifying.

I’m sure you’ve been hurt. I know I have. And my scars tell me to live small. To run from connection. To hide in the shades and shadows.

But the intimacy God has designed us for requires courage—a courage many people refuse to cultivate. So what do we do? We reach for cheap or artificial intimacy. We look for connection that doesn’t require conflict or sacrifice. And you know what our best option is? Yup. You guessed it: Gossip.

After all, it’s easy to bond over other people’s business.

Here’s the thing though, God hates artificial intimacy because it precludes or blocks true intimacy and deep relationship. God is ALL about relationships so, naturally, He hates anything that destroys genuine connection.

As sons and daughters of God, we must realize that the entire biblical narrative is a story of intimacy—and more specifically, intimacy in a familial context. With this truth in mind, is it any wonder why we find gossip on the list of seven things God hates?

There are six things the Lord hates—
no, seven things he detests:
. . . a person who sows discord in a family.

Proverbs 6:16, 19 | NLT

Take Action

  • The next time someone gossips around you, kindly ask them to stop. Shut. It. Down. Things will get awkward—maybe really awkward. But eventually that person will respect you and know you are worthy of trust. Or, they won’t want you in their life because you called them to a higher standard. Frankly, don’t waste your time in relationships with people who don’t challenge you or aren’t willing to be challenged by you.
  • When you do gossip, only gossip well. Be intentional to build people behind their back. Celebrate their accomplishments. Share their strengths. We gossip well when we celebrate those who aren’t in the room.

Finally, remember that talk is cheap, but words are costly. Your words have the power to give life or death. Today, choose life. And watch your relationships flourish.

Take a moment to let us know how gossip has affected your life. Also, I’d love to hear some stories about times when you’ve gossiped well or shut down gossip.

18 Comments

  1. Daniel Iseli

    Thanks for the reminder addison! It makes me thinking about the two most challenging person on my working place. I will restart there to speak positiv…
    You guys are inspirational and i love how dedicated your family is! Big hug from switzerland

    • Addison Bevere

      I love that this post became personal for you. Let me know how it goes with your coworkers. And I would love to go to Switzerland one day!

  2. sumaeveldsman

    This is so good. What a revelation regarding gossip and the fear of intimacy. The challenge is to bring the truth of God’s Word into an situation that biblically is not honoring God. When we bring the Truth, darkness has to leave. Great reminder of a practical way to be the light in the world daily and to keep each other accountable. Looking forward to the next post!

  3. @adisons replay:
    thank you and it’s true to get a third person in those situations. Thank you for taking time. Excited for the next part.

  4. Deirdre C

    Very good and very timely! Thank you.

  5. This is so SO good!! This brought some more inspiration for a new video I’m filming and uploading today! This was the perfect addition to what I’ve been thinking and processing lately! Thank you for sharing this Addison!!

  6. Addison, this is so good. Thank you for this reminder.

  7. So good!! Thanks heaps for these tips…. gossip seems to be such a hard thing to avoid! Loved hearing the reasons behind it and why it’s truly so important for us to not gossip but to encourage and left up those in our world.

    • Addison Bevere

      Thanks, Sophia! I find we locate empowerment when we discover the why behind the what. The what is we shoudln’t gossip. The why is God’s all about intimacy and connection, and gossip undermines genuiune connection.

  8. So true, Addison! Thanks for sharing this post and I am excited about the second part. Sometimes people get angry thou if you try to see the best in a complicated situation. Also I did observe that people get rejected and I have been told I would not understand the situation if I try to look at it in a different way. An other point is that people mix situation and the identity of a person quiet often together. Cause if I know that a certain situation wasn’t so good then we start automatically to criticize the person instead of trying to understand the situation. For me personally it’s hard sometimes to let them know I do understand the situation but we shouldn’t talk like that behind person X. As I said often I did experience that people would say I wouldn’t understand them unless I share what I think about person X in situation Y. So I guess sometimes we identify the person by a certain situation that’s why I believe it l leads us into an incorrect way to see them in their true identity.

    • Addison Bevere

      This is challenging, and I will touch on how to approach these situations in my next post. When your friends come to you looking for sympathy, it’s always best to encourage them to express themselves to the person who’s done them wrong (see Matthew 18 for explicit instructions). By doing so, your friend will grow through the conflict, positioning themselves and the person who’s done them wrong on the path to restoration. There are, of course, exceptions when someone’s safety is compromised. In these situations, a trusted third party (who can do something to help) should be brought into the process.

  9. love this!! The how to take action is awesome and so importanimportant.

  10. Amen!

  11. Addison,
    Wow! Wow! Wow! I love the bit about intimacy involving pushing past the fear to really get into it with someone else. Thanks for reminding us where the lines are. You are an amazing leader!

  12. Been thinking on this topic for so long

  13. Wendy Black

    Excellent! Say GOOD things!

  14. Arden Bevere

    This is so important!!

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