TATTLERS - GOSSIPERS - BUSYBODIES
Author NOT NAMED - been in my files for a few decades (Keith
"Have you heard?" "Now let me tell you" - "You wouldn't
believe it!" "Now, I don't mean this as gossip - but I feel you
should know .... " Remember Me?
My name is Gossip. I have no respect for Justice.
I maim without killing. I break hearts and ruin lives.
I am cunning and malicious and gather strength with age.
The more I am quoted the more I am believed.
I flourish at every level of society. My victims are
They cannot protect themselves against me because I have no
name and no face.
To track me down is impossible.
The harder you try, the more elusive I become.
I am nobody's friend.
Once I tarnish a reputation, it is never quite the same.
I topple governments and wreck marriages.
I ruin careers, cause sleepless nights, heartache and
I spawn suspicion and generate grief.
I make innocent people cry in their pillows. Even my name
I am called Gossip. Office gossip. Shop gossip. Party
gossip. I make headlines and headaches.
Before you repeat a story ask yourself,
Is it true? Is it fair? Is it necessary? If not- SHUT UP.
Gossip is an ancient pastime. Evidently gossiper, caused a
lot of trouble as far back as the time of Moses, for he wrote:
"Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people"
Lev.19:16). Solomon wrote, "A talebearer revealeth secrets: but
he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter" (Prov.
Pick your friends - but not to pieces!
More people are run down by gossip than by cars!
It happens not only over the back fence and behind closed
doors - but also by phone, fax, radio and television (yes, even
in the news) - and certainly through the sensational scandal
publications that regurgitate filth at check-out counters.
Even those who normally do not gossip seem to get some kind
of titillation from reading headlines of this or that politician,
TV evangelist, movie star, or other victim of the latest garbage
(which maybe bold-faced lies). Some of it may be based on truth -
but is often distorted beyond recognition. For that matter, what
right do we have to indulge in the moresls of same poor soul's
mistakes - even if it is true (or part true)! Unfortunately,
there must be a lucrative market for such human sludge - or these
publishers of trash would soon close up shop.
It has been said, "It is better to say a good thing about a
bad fellow than to say a bad thing about a good fellow!"
People claim to be Christians - yet gossip and tear others
apart, blow up when things don't go their way?! Hold it! Who are
they trying to kid? - their religion is vain!
"If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his
tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is
actin. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is
this; to visit the fatherless and widows in their afflictions,
and to keep himself unspotted from the world." (James 1:26-27).
Why not reach out to someone less fortunate than you -
help someone who is having problems? How about giving a hand to
the neighbors down the street - the people whose kids are pests
and their house ramshackle! Perhaps they live under difficult
circumstances and there is e reason why they don't excel in
living an orderly life. Your help and concern may be the little
boost they need. It helps to know someone cares! That sure is
better than "talking about them!"
Gossip is often passed on by those who have nothing to do
but sit around and talk about others. If one is busy doing and
saying good and right things, there is little time to get into
"And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to
house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies,
speaking things which they ought not." (I Timothy 5:13).
There is plenty to do. If your days aren't full in putting
food on your table and keeping your own home in order - consider
getting busy with activities that will lighten someone's load and
make you feel better, too. Try same of these:
Bake for a neighbor.
Visit the sick or elderly -run some errands or help in the home.
Visit or minister in a convalescent home.
Take a bouquet to someone - or drop a note to one who may be
having a "glad day" or a "bad day."
Pickup your phone and just "check in" with a shut-in who rarely
gets a call from someone who cares.
Get involved in ministry - prayer, visitation, music, Christian
education, youth work, secretarial duties, providing floral
arrangements to beautify the sanctuary, Bible studios for your
work place or neighborhood. The list is endless!
You can't spell "brothers" and not spell "others."
People who busy themselves with activities that bless
(instead of hurt) other people will find life much more
rewarding! "Give and it shall be given unto you!" Give of
yourself and people will give you their appreciation and love. If
you choose to live this kind of life - you won't be prey to
falling into the bad company that lurks in a run-down place
called "Gossip Town."
Have you ever heard of Gossip Town?
On the shores of Falsehood Bay,
Where old Dame Rumor, with rustling gown,
Is going the livelong day?
It isn't far to Gossip Town
For people who want to go;
The idleness train will take you down
In just an hour or so.
The "Thoughtless Road" is the popular route,
And most people go that way;
But it's steep down-grade; if you don't lookout
You will land in Falsehood Bay.
You glide through the valley of Vicious Talk,
And into the "Tunnel of Hate;"
Then, crossing the "Add-To-Bridge," you walk
Right into the City Gate.
The principal street is called "They Say,"
And "I've Heard" is the public well,
And the breezes that blow from Falsehood Bay
Are laden with "don't you tell."
In the midst of the town is "Tell Tale Park"
You are never quite safe while there,
For its owner is Madam Suspicious Remark
Just back of the park is "Slanderer's Row;"
Twas there that Good Name died,
Pierced by a shaft from Jealousy's how,
In the hands of Envious Pride.
From Gossip Town, Peace long since fled,
But Trouble and Grief and Woe
And Sorrow and Care you'll meet instead,
If you ever chance to go.
Harvey M. Barr, "Out of my Treasure," College Press Joplin. MO.
If we're Christlike - we won't gossip and criticize. We won't
automatically think the worst, believe the dirt we hear. (If we
knew the whole story, we may marvel that the object of attack
could stand up under such circumstances.) Instead, let's go to
our knees and pray for those whose lives are full of pain and
hardship! That kind of prayer is most effective "in one's
closet." It is self-righteous deception to pass along things that
shouldn't be said, prefaced by: "I'm just telling you this
because I want you to pray with me about this problem." Of
course, it is good to "agree" in prayer, but, God is quite
capable of answering our "confidential" prayers without muddying
the water by involving a third party!
Being a Christian should make us more aware of the fact that
we ALL are only human and have faults. The only people who have a
right to be fault-finders - are people who study earthquakes!
What makes us think we have any less faults than the one
we're slashing with our tongues? Are we hiding behind deadly
nit-picking and criticism of others to cover up our own
inadequacies and short-comings? The fires of hostility and
fault-finding are often fanned more viciously toward those whose
abilities and behavior actually surpass the gossipers. Some
people are more comfortable around those whose short-comings are
more obvious, yet seem to disdain those who live right. Paul said
"Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are
spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness;
considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted" (Gal.6:1).
Some introspection and a little time on the knees is a
"There is so much bad in the best of us
And so much good in the worst of us
That it doesn't behoove any of us
To talk about the rest o us! - Unknown
It has been said "You better be careful, your tongue is in a
wet place and is apt to slip!" If you don't want to do the things
that cause trouble (for you as well as others), it is easier not
to participate in slander and gossip, than to unravel the mess
once you open your mouth. I once heard it said, "You are master
over your words until you speak them, then they are master over
It is best to "Button Up Your Lips!" -
If you heard a bit of gossip,
Whether false or whether true,
Be it of a friend or stranger,
Let me tell you what to do.
Button up your lips securely,
Lest the tale you should repeat,
And bring sorrow unto someone
Whose life now is not too sweet.
If you know of one who yielded
To temptation long ago,
But whose life has since been blameless,
Let me tell you what to do.
Button up your lips securely,
His the secret: God alone
Has the gift to sit in judgment,
Treat it as to you, unknown.
Sometimes life is filled with troubles,
Oft its burdens are severe,
Do not make it any harder
By a careless word or sneer.
Button up your lips securely
'Gainst the words that bring a tear,
But be swift with words of comfort,
Words of praise and words of cheer.
Let's read John 8:3-11
To the ACCUSED: He asked, "Woman, where are those thine
accusers? Hath no man condemned thee?" Then He set her free from
her load of bondage and guilt - "Neither do I condemn thee: go
and sin no more." Instead of "talking about her" or
"stoning her," He who loves sinners, but hates sin, showed
forgiveness, love, acceptance, and mercy! - setting an example of
the character which He desires to develop in us.
Pray don't find fault with the man that limps,
Or stumbles along the road,
Unless you have worn the shoes he wears
Or struggled beneath his load.
There may be tacks in his shoes that hurt,
Tho' hidden away from view,
Or the burden he bears placed on your back
Might cause you to stumble, too.
Don't sneer at the man who's down today,
Unless you have felt the blow
That caused his fall or felt the shame
That only the fallen know.
You may be strong; but still the blows
That were his, if dealt to you
In the selfsame way at the selfsame time
Might cause you to stagger, too.
Don't be too harsh with the man that sins,
Or pelt him with word or a stone,
Unless you are sure - yes, double sure
That you have no sine of your own.
For you know perhaps if the tempter's voice
Should whisper as soft to you
As it did to him when he went astray
It might cause you to falter, too.
A headline in our local paper caught my eye: "Gossip: Once
it gets rolling, it's tough to stop." The article reports that
researchers have found why gossip tends to be so nasty:
Negativism is in the very structure of gossip, and gossip is
usually done in the absence of its target. Yes - it's so easy to
say something negative behind someone's back when the facts can't
It is easy to pass off such things "just human nature." It
is! - the CARNAL nature. It would behoove each of us to set a
watch on our lips (and ears) lest we unwittingly become involved
in what seems to "just come naturally!" And, instead of just
passively standing by when we hear negative remarks - why not
challenge them?! Whether true or not, same things are better
unsaid and serve no purpose in being dished up as unsavory
tidbits to whet the appetite of the unregenerate nature! If we
keep our relationship right with God, the Holy Spirit will nudge
us when we are "off limits!" Stopping rumors will save every one
from getting dirt on them. The benefit to the victim is obvious -
but the subtle defilement that comes to the gossiper and hearer
also, tarnishes their character as well. Gossip is a losing game
Entered on this Website November 2007
Every now and then remember to read James chapter THREE!