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
- 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.