By Omotayo Omoseke Alo
I want to talk to you about a very popular word – gossip. No one is exempted from this course, because in one way or another, we talk about other people. Gossip can be truth or falsehood; it is still gossip. Have you heard or been the one to say “wait till you hear this!” Or, “I shouldn’t really be telling you this, but did you know…?” As a man created in God’s own image you shouldn’t be involved in idle talk that doesn’t edify or glorify your father in heaven. Psalm 37:30 says that the mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom and his tongue speaks what is just.
Gossip can be defined as malicious or slanderous talk or writing about another person or situation, with desire or intension to hurt them. It is a time–wasting, irrelevant talk about other people. When gossiping, information could also be passed across through signs and gesticulation, especially behind the person who is the object of gossip. One thing you should know is that God condemns those who gossip, our words reflect the mediation of our heart. You should agree with me that both males and females are guilty of gossiping. For guys their gossips are usually about drunken friends, old school friends, female colleagues at work, the sexiest girl in class, sexual relationships and escapades, and lecturers. The females are usually guilty of discussing other girls’ relationships, their friends’ weight gain or loss, how ugly a classmate is, male lecturers, the most handsome guy in class, snoring roommates, and the boys and girls with the worst body odour.
Gossip is sin and it is not good for you. Have you ever gossiped about someone and felt good about it afterwards? Truth is, even if you enjoy gossiping while it lasts, later on when you recall things that transpired, you tend to acknowledge that what you did was not proper. If you are still not convinced, has it ever happened to you that you discovered some people had been gossiping about you or you probably burst into a gossip session about you? How do you feel hearing first – hand, your supposedly cool classmate who’s always smiling at you, telling other people that you are too skinny, too proud and snobbish, especially when you know some of those things are not true. Can you handle it when you are the object of a secret jest that you suddenly burst into by chance…? So, how do you avoid and overcome gossip if it is that bad?
All you have to do is withdraw your association with gossips or gossip–gatherings. Whatever opinion you have about somebody, keep it to yourself. Seal your lips, guard your mouth and think before you talk. Gossiping does not help you in any way; it wastes valuable time and makes you a bad person. According to Matthew 7:12, in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you. I am sure you don’t want to be gossiped about so please guilt gossiping.
For effective repentance from gossiping each time you get up from your bed, recite this verse and meditate on it. It isPsalm 19:14: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, o Lord my strength and my redeemer.” Ensure that you say something nice to somebody today; like I love you and I am praying for you. Make sure you mean it! Always look out for the good qualities and attributes in other people, do not focus on people’s faults. Have a wonderful day and thanks for spending some reading this.
Omotayo Alo studies Mass Communication at the University of Lagos. She lives in Lagos, Nigeria.