Another Silent Killer
Death is often a noisy affair. The sound of a gun blast or a bomb, or even the horrible sound of grinding steel and breaking glass in a car crash is noisy. But not all killers are noisy. High blood pressure–hypertension–has been called a silent killer because it may have no outward symptoms. The killer stroke hits. It makes no noise and the man is taken out silently but certainly. There is another silent killer. One that destroys just as certainly as the massive stroke. The victim is destroyed, but may have no idea what killed him. No one ever told him what was happening to him. It is another silent killer. It is called gossip. You can’t check it with a blood pressure cuff. There are no meds for it.
Everybody knows that the word of God condemns gossip. Here are some passages to look up if you need a little help: Leviticus 19:16, Proverbs 18:8, Romans 1:29, 2 Corinthians 12:20, 1 Timothy 5:13. Such words as “talebearer, whisperer, backbiting and busybodies” are used.
Gossip isn’t just talking about people. You might have to talk about someone to get advice or help win someone back to the Lord (Matthew 18:15-17). Rather, gossip is talking about people in a certain way with a bad motive. It is talking about them without love for God, His word, or the person. It is talking about them to hurt them or their reputation. It is destructive talk–not constructive. It is often done in a spiteful way. Even speaking the truth may sometimes be classified as gossip. Examples: “Did you know she used to have a terrible drinking problem?” It may be true, but it is designed to harm, not help. “I heard he spent five years in jail for theft.” Maybe he did, but why do you feel you have to tell others?
Gossip is wrong. So why are people so easily drawn to this silent killer? Here are some possible reasons.
1. Some are drawn to sensational, forbidden or taboo things–juicy stuff.
2. To shift blame. I may escape my culpability if I say bad things about you.
3. As a competitive tool. I look better if I can put you down.
4. Envy and resentment. I don’t like you having what you have. Therefore, I will try to hurt you and get others to look down on you.
5. Self-importance. I know something you don’t know. I have the latest dirt. I will feel big if I can tell something others don’t know.
Here are two things you can do to kill the silent killer!
1. Hate the devil more. He is at work when the gossiper comes to you. Don’t listen.
2. Love Jesus more. Are you His disciple? Then imitate Him. Die to self. Live in Him. Finally, remember this: Anyone who will gossip to you, will gossip about you!