Apr 142014 4 Responses

Gossip Is More Damaging Than Adultery

There are few things as destructive as adultery. It can destroy families, end marriages, and splinter communities. Broken relationships are hard enough, but when adultery is involved the guilt and shame are compounded.

Yet gossip is more damaging than adultery.

Its danger is found in its subtlety. (See: 10 Communication Posts Your Co-Workers Should Read)

Everyone knows adultery is wrong. Even those engaging in the behavior are often quick to admit the immoral nature of their relationships. While some might deceive themselves into thinking their action is justifiable, rare is the case in which someone will claim adultery is morally acceptable. Even if they deny the activity to others, they know in their heart their action is wrong.

Gossip is different. Rarely does someone who is gossiping believe they are doing anything wrong. They are so blind to their wrong action that they will actually engage in the behavior in public, at church, in front of friends and strangers.

Because gossip is rarely seen for what it is, gossip most often gives birth to more gossip. Rarely will your affair lead me into an affair, but often your gossip will cause me to gossip. Without even realizing it, by listening to your gossip I will be prone to join you in gossiping about another.

The result is never positive. (See: Why We Should Never Give Up)

Gossip is a destructive form of communication which focuses on negative behaviors without any attempt to correct or improve the situation.

Leaders don’t have time for gossip.

Servants don’t have the heart for gossip.

Friends don’t have the desire to gossip.

Anyone who has ever been the object of gossip would never wish someone else be the subject of gossip.

Few things can destroy relationships, organizations, teams, companies, and churches like gossip. Where gossip thrives, trust dies. When trust dies, so does community.

To protect ourselves from gossip, we should ask ourselves the following questions before speaking:

  1. Can the person I’m talking to help the situation?
  2. Would I say this if the person was here? The person’s mother? The person’s child?
  3. Am I assuming to know the whole story when I only know part of the story?
  4. If I was in the other person’s shoes, what would I want said about me?
  5. If I’m speaking to someone who isn’t involved in the situation, am I seeking advice for my own action or am I degrading another person?

To protect ourselves from enabling gossip, we should ask another person the following questions before listening:

  1. Have you spoken with the person regarding this issue?
  2. How can this conversation help the situation?
  3. Is there more to the story than you realize?
  4. Are you giving the other person the kindness you would want to receive?
  5. Are you acting in a loving manner toward the person? (See: How to Speak So Others Listen)

Few people would doubt the destructive nature of adultery, yet we struggle to recognize the power of our negative words. Problems need to be confronted; issues need to be dealt with; life demands we speak truth in love. There is a time and place for nearly everything which can be said, yet gossip is speaking at the wrong time or in the wrong place or to the wrong person.

When we gossip, we are acting in a destructive manner. In doing so, we don’t just destroy ourselves, we also destroy those around us.

For more, see:

Three Reasons People Criticize You

You Hurt My Feelings

4 Responses to Gossip Is More Damaging Than Adultery

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