Why Gossiping Hurts More Than Just Your Reputation

We’ve grown up hearing not to talk behind of friends’ back. Then, we watched the same adults preaching this information take a metaphoric knife and stab their own friend in the back. Naturally, since we watched our role models gossip, we think it is okay if we do the same. After all, actions speak louder than words, so technically their words should be voided by their actions, right? The problem is, gossiping is actually very hurtful and bad. It hurts the person you are gossiping about, you, and your relationship with God.

When you tell fabricated stories, or even truthful stories that were supposed to be kept secret because it would hurt the person the stories belong to, it is causing pain for that person. Sure, for you it might be just to get a laugh, or maybe this is some revenge method that makes you feel all happy and bubbly inside. But that person’s reputation, that is the first or second thing they will be judged on by strangers. You may ruin chances for them that would have gotten them further in life. But your words won’t only hurt other people, they will also hurt your reputation as well. When I was little, my mom used to tell me to be aware of people who gossip. She would tell me, “if they can say it about someone else behind their back, imagine how they talk about you behind your back.” Why would anyone want to talk to the gossiper? Why would they want to risk their own reputation in order to be your friend? Gossiping causes a lot of negative activity to surround you, and God would rather you not go through that. You won’t be the original person God created you to be, but, instead, you will be corrupted and changed for the worse.

But the worst thing that comes out of gossiping is how it affects your relationship with God. James 1:26 states, “those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.” When you speak words that are not true, you are damaging people, God’s people. Every single human is His child, and, instead, of loving them like God says to do, you are spreading hate. You are shaming them. You are putting a wedge between you and God because He see’s your actions and sees the darkness creeping into your life. It starts with gossiping, but it never just ends with gossiping. You get bolder and smarter. You use words as a weapon until they become dull, and you reach for something else to hurt others. God doesn’t want to see you treating His children like this.

Gossiping may be hard to stop, sometimes you get so caught up in the conversation that you do not realize what you said until you said it. It takes practice but you must gain control over your tongue. You need to ask yourself, ‘would I be okay if someone said this about me? Would it hurt me?’ And if you can’t find an answer to those questions, then you need to play it safe and keep their name out of your mouth. Find it in yourself to value your reputation and your relationship with God over spreading fabricated stories.