15 Ways to Avoid Gossip and Be HAPPY

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Gossip is everywhere. We love it. But because it hurt relationships it often leads to unhappiness. A great way to be happier - avoid gossip. #Happy #Faith #Gossip #Bible #Friends

Gossip is anything said about someone to someone that isn’t loving and kind and that you wouldn’t say directly to the person about whom you’re talking . . . you are gossiping. 

Gossip hurts. If you’ve ever been the victim of gossip you know it hurts.

People gossip because of…

  • Pride
  • Envy
  • Insecurity
  • Resentment

And unfortunately, the church is not immune to the problem of gossip.

[Tweet “Gossip is a problem in the church! The “excused” sin . . . cloaked as a “prayer need” but motivated by pride and judgment. “]

Too often gossip is the “excused” sin . . . cloaked as a “prayer need” but motivated by pride and judgment.

But wherever gossip happens it hurts people and damages relationships. 

That doesn’t sound like happiness to me.

If you’re looking for happiness – avoid gossip!

Gossip is everywhere. We love it. But because it hurt relationships it often leads to unhappiness. A great way to be happier - avoid gossip. #Happy #Faith #Gossip #Bible #Friends

15 Ways to Avoid Gossip and Be Happy

1. Resolve that gossip is a sin. 

Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. Romans 1:29

2. Respect everyone’s right to privacy. 

Ignore celebrity gossip and personal gossip. It is never helpful or beneficial. Ever.

3. Mind your own business. 

“The key to a drama free life is to stay humble and mind your own business.” ~ Author Unknown

4. Invite the gossiper to talk directly to the person they are concerned about.

Ask if they have started with Matthew 18 –“If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back.” v. 15

5. Remember it is never helpful to share details of someone else’s life.

Chances are you and I only have a fraction of the truth anyway.

“One who is kind is sympathetic and gentle with others. He is considerate of others’ feelings and courteous in his behavior. He has a helpful nature. Kindness pardons others’ weaknesses and faults. Kindness is extended to all – to the aged and the young, to animals, to those low of station as well as the high.” ~Ezra Taft Benson

6. You won’t repeat what you don’t know. Ask to not know.

[Tweet “”Gossip needn’t be false to be evil — there’s a lot of truth that shouldn’t be passed around.” ~Frank A. Clark”]

7. Go into conversations with potential subject-changers. Be prepared.

“I resolve to speak ill of no man whatever, not even in a matter of truth; but rather by some means excuse the faults I hear charged upon others, and upon proper occasions speak all the good I know of everybody.” ~Benjamin Franklin

8. Be positive and kind . . . be known as the person who talks well of everyone.

They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone. Titus 3:2

9. Anticipate the potential fallout of shared gossip.

You can’t control what someone does with anything you tell them. Once gossip is shared it’s can spread like a wildfire.

“We always feel the brunt of the blow dealt to us, but hardly ever do we feel the impact we have on others. Why is that?” ~Richelle E. Goodrich

10. Picture yourself in the other person’s life . . .  all of it, not just this tidbit.

When you haven’t lived their life it’s impossible to understand their decisions. Offer them the same grace and mercy you would like them to give you.

Gossip is everywhere. We love it. But because it hurt relationships it often leads to unhappiness. A great way to be happier - avoid gossip. #Happy #Faith #Gossip #Bible #Friends

11. Ask yourself the benefit of sharing this information.

Can anything good come out of it. If the answer is “no,” keep it to yourself.

“There are two good rules which ought to be written on every heart; never to believe anything bad about anybody unless you positively know it to be true, and never to tell that unless you feel that it is absolutely necessary and that God is listening while you tell it.” ~Henry VanDyke

12. Resolve that every bit of gossip ends with you. Never speak negatively about anyone ever.

“How would your life be different if … You walked away from gossip and verbal defamation? Let today be the day…You speak only the good you know of other people and encourage others to do the same.” ~Steve Maraboli

[Tweet “Resolve that every bit of gossip ends with you. “]

13. Prayers don’t need details.

God knows the need even when the people praying do not. It is possible to pray for each other publicly without revealing secrets or sharing personal problems.

14. Ask yourself why you’re willing to harm this person? Then pray for them instead. 

Notice, we never pray for folks we gossip about, and we never gossip about the folk for whom we pray! For prayer is a great deterrent. ~Leonard Ravenhill

15. Picture Jesus present at every conversation.

“Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20

Finally, ASK yourself before you speak . . . Is it True? Is it Kind? Is it Necessary?

If it’s not – keep your mouth shut.

I think the following poem says it all.

My Name is Gossip ~Author Unknown

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 helpless.
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 the same.
I topple governments and ruin marriages.
I ruin careers and cause sleepless nights, heartache and indigestion.
I spawn suspicion and generate grief.

I make innocent people cry in their pillows.
Even my name hisses.

I AM CALLED GOSSIP.

So…

Are you ready to join me?

Together we can avoid gossip and be happy?

Leave your prayer requests…

and pray for others who have left requests.

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24 thoughts on “15 Ways to Avoid Gossip and Be HAPPY

    1. I’m with you Bill. I don’t want to hear it. One area where I’d like to do better is subject changers or ways to redirect the conversation to something more positive.

  1. “Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?” I heard those questions a while back, Deb, and thought them to be so wise to ask ourselves should we be tempted to say something about another person. Gossip is malicious as you have deftly pointed out here, and if we hear any, that information should stop with us, never to be repeated.
    Blessings, my friend!

    1. My rule for myself is if it’s not positive and encouraging, or if it’s not information I need . . . then I’m better off not knowing. And you’re right – never to be repeated! Blessings to you my friend!

  2. Deb, great article. I liked the quote: “never to tell that unless you feel that it is absolutely necessary, and that God is listening while you tell it.” We went through something where a church leader was slandering us. Concerned people wanted to tell us what he was saying. I kept saying, “Please don’t tell me. I don’t want to hear it.” Hearing lies and distortions benefits not one.

    1. Good for you Debbie! It had to be so hard, especially when the gossip was about you. WTG remembering that knowing what was being said wouldn’t benefit you. I do believe that once you’ve been hurt by gossip or paid the consequences for shared gossip . . . hopefully it will make you stop and think before speaking. It sure worked for me.

  3. Amen, Deb. Love that.
    So often you and I are on the page; I’m in the middle of writing something now where I hint about gossip. Perhaps I should just forgo that paragraph and put a link to this instead, *smile*. Thanks so much for sharing these truths today. 🙂 ((Hug))

  4. Oh, this is needed, Deb. We don’t like to call what we do “gossip” but it is often exactly what we do. Thanks for reminding us how harmful it is–for everybody.

    1. Thanks Lisa! It is hard! But I do believe I’m happier when I avoid it! Trusting God’s help to keep me mindful when temptations arises. Blessings to you!

    1. Thanks Ginger – It’s so hard to avoid chatting about others. If I can just remember to keep the attitude of my heart loving and compassionate I’m less likely to share negative. I won’t share them if I don’t have them. That’s the goal anyway!

  5. Good words, Deb! Especially on the prayer request masked as gossip! It’s been interesting growing up with a house of boys. They have all shunned gossip – don’t do it! Don’t like it! It’s made me wonder if it’s more of a girl thing.

  6. Love the fact that you put I about gossip being covered as a prayer request. That really destroyed a relationship I had with a friend. She shared something one time about someone else and I stopped telling her my because I was wondering who all she was telling what was going on with me.
    Thanks for stopping by #Bonbon’n’CoffeeLink-Up

  7. It’s disturbing how a person’s negative talk about someone else stays in your mind and colors your view of them. A good reason to steer the conversation in a different direction, and a lesson not to talk badly about someone else, but to build each other up. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Thanks Deb

  8. This is a much-needed post, friend. #14 is particularly critical, I think, because this is where we can get to the root of our gossip problem. Gossip is a “fruit” sin that is difficult to kill without addressing the root causes. Roots like pride, lack of love, bitterness, and jealousy are all potential contributors. Thank you for sharing this wisdom with us at Grace & Truth!

  9. We were just talking about this at dinner the other night. Sometimes we’ll be diligent in avoiding it, and then other times it’s so easy to excuse it because it’s “just us.” I’m sharing this with our women’s group. Thank you so much!

  10. Hi Deb!
    Excellent and well written. Gossip, in my estimation, is simply meanness in a culturally accepted form. I’ll be including this post in my Friday Faves. Love it!
    Marie

  11. That was powerful. Gossip is a terrible disease to obtain and it is contagious. It can spread like a fire jumping from tree the tree destroying an entire forest.
    This was medicine and water to the fire. Thank you,
    this was done beautifully!

    1. Oh, thank you! I believe many of us have been burned by gossip and if we’re honest … we’ve probably set a few fires ourselves at one time or another. My prayer is to be someone who encourages and builds up and to walk away by refusing to listen to gossip from others. I believe, with God’s help, we can be the cure. Many blessings!

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