I have a bad habit of venting about people to others. I really do. Yes, I'm a Christian and yes, I'm very aware that this is not what I'm suppose to be doing. The verses are clear in the Bible about gossip and what to do when you have an issue with someone. So far, I have failed. But I'm gonna change that today with the power of God. It's the only way I've changed any behavior in my life. Pursue Him, read from His Word, allow others to advise, and pray.
I would often start this "venting" by stating I needed to get this off my chest and felt as though it wasn't gossip if I said I was just "venting'. It was almost as if I needed to get this person that I was venting to to be on my side. How unfair is this?!? They only hear my version of the story.
Matthew 18:15-17 says, "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. But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church."
So I first need to go to the person who offends me not to those around me as to get support. No, to the person first. Otherwise this is gossip. Proverbs 11:13 A gossip goes around telling secrets, but those who are trustworthy can help keep a confidence. A gossip is not trustworthy. Proverbs 16:28 A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of friends.
Gossip is sin. Like all sin, we are prone to it and it draws us in. If we can step away from the habit of gossip, we can allow small talk to be deeper conversation with substance and help all of our relationships.
Do you gossip? Do you listen to gossip. Lean into God today as I will. He can replace my gossip with His words of encouragement. understanding and most importantly, love.