Jeneric Jeneralities ~ by JenIG
May 14th, 2007
Watch Your Mouth

If somebody you know starts to gossip, kindly ask them to stop. And if you are tempted to gossip, staple your tongue to the table.

 This is a personal study of gossip in an effort to realize how much God hates this sin – and a prayer to hate it as much as my Lord does.  I want my life to be characterized by grace, kindness and wisdom.  Gossip, in any form, has the power to utterly destroy.  It has the power to devastate others, and it will most certainly always destroy the gossiper herself.  How do we know if we’re gossiping?  Imagine that the person whom you wish to ‘chat about’ has some sort of power to instantly destroy your house or your children or your personal supply of chicken curry mix.  You wouldn’t want to say anything to irritate them, would you?  Imagine them listening in as you share your frustrations or ‘concerns’ about them (or their family).  And picture them holding a magic Destroy-You-Instantly-Wand.  Is it a silly little trick? Yes, maybe so; but if it works, use it.  Do anything and everything in your power to keep your mouth from saying things that you ought not.  Does a little bit of "sharing" or "venting" or (so-called) just getting "counsel" from a series of close friends really matter that much?  As I studied the verses below, it was very helpful determining how serious gossip actually is.  I hope it is helpful for you as well. 


 Proverbs 11:12-14 

 12 A man who lacks judgment derides his neighbor,
       but a man of understanding holds his tongue.

 13 A gossip betrays a confidence,
       but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.

Proverbs 16:

27 A scoundrel plots evil,
       and his speech is like a scorching fire

28 A perverse man stirs up dissension,
 and a gossip separates close friends.

Proverbs 18

7 A fool’s mouth is his undoing,
       and his lips are a snare to his soul.

 8 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels;
       they go down to a man’s inmost parts.

 Proverbs 20

He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets, Therefore do not associate with a gossip. (do people need to avoid me? What sort of speech do I hear from others that should I be avoiding?)

Proverbs 26

 20 Without wood a fire goes out;
       without gossip a quarrel dies down.

 21 As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire,
       so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife
(do I make my problems – or others’ problems — bigger by fueling them?)

23 Like a coating of glaze [over earthenware
       are fervent lips with an evil heart

Romans 1

28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful.  (Gossip is a serious enough sin to be lumped in with murdering, lying, God-haters.)

Look who gossip is sandwiched between in 1 Corinthians 12:

20For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder

In first 1 Timothy 5  there is a clear picture of what a Christian woman should NOT look like:

13 Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to. 14 So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander

 Timothy 3:11 Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things.

Timothy 5:13
At the same time they also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention.

2 Timothy 3  2For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God

Titus 2:3
Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good,

Psalms 34     

12Who is the man who desires life
 And loves length of days that he may see good?
 3Keep your tongue from evil
 And your lips from speaking deceit.
 14 Depart from evil and do good;
 Seek peace and pursue it.

Psalm 37

30 The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom,
And his tongue speaks justice.
31The law of his God is in his heart;
His steps do not slip.

Psalm 39

I said, "I will guard my ways  That I may not sin with my tongue;
         I will guard my mouth as with a muzzle

Psalm 52  (what will God do to those who will not control their tongue?) 4 You love all words that devour, O deceitful tongue. 5 But God will break you down forever; He will snatch you up and tear you away from your tent, And uproot you from the land of the living.

Proverbs 10 19  When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, But he who restrains his lips is wise. 20 The tongue of the righteous is as choice silver, The heart of the wicked is worth little.

Proverbs 12 18 There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, But the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Proverbs 12 13An evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips, But the righteous will escape from trouble.

Proverbs 13: 3 The one who guards his mouth preserves his life; The one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.

Proverbs 17: 4  An evildoer listens to wicked lips; A liar pays attention to a destructive tongue YIKES, we are not only judged for what we say… but also judged by what we choose to pay attention and listen to.

Proverbs 18  7 A fool’s mouth is his ruin, And his lips are the snare of his soul

Ecclesiastes 10:12
Words from the mouth of a wise man are gracious, while the lips of a fool consume him

James 3:

4 Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires. 5 So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire!  6 And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell.

James 1: 26 If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless.  (this is a terrifying thought to me)

Does God hate gossip?  Yes, he abhors it.

….Do we hate gossip?  If we are His, then we must recognize it for what it is, stop making excuses and/or justifications for speaking ill of others and change right now.

Lord, thank you for giving us the faith and the ability to change where we need to change. Forgive me for being guilty so often in this area.


 gos·sip : ‘gä-s&p
Function: noun
1 a person who habitually reveals personal or sensational facts about others
2 a : rumor or report of an intimate nature b : a chatty talk c : the subject matter of gossip

i.e. To put others in a bad light whether with things said or things unsaid, gossip can also be done by making inferences with looks or by using certain tones. 

May 14th, 2007 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments

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  1. onfire said,

    on May 14th, 2007 at 2:07 pm


    the only things I have ever said about you are that I love your writing, you are funny, and I wish I lived in TN on a farm with goats (even though they stink) and chickens.


    and you are friends with Sarah Small … yep, I have a problem with jealousy

    want to tackle that next?


  2. 2peter318 said,

    on May 14th, 2007 at 4:13 pm

    Untitled Comment

    Wow, that was a real good study. 🙂


  3. JacqueDixonSoulRestES said,

    on May 14th, 2007 at 4:42 pm


    I love you, Jen…

    praying for you!



  4. ShayC said,

    on May 14th, 2007 at 5:04 pm

    Untitled Comment

    There are certain people I have lost relationships with…when I decided to stop gossiping we had nothing else to talk about.

    Loving your hard, eye opening look at sin AGAIN,


    By the way…I received my TOS today…LOVED your article on NOT following your heart!!!!! (Who are you and where did you come from with all your wisdom?????????? ha-ha)

  5. writmm said,

    on May 14th, 2007 at 9:00 pm

    Untitled Comment

    A great post and I appreciate the verses that help cement the deal. Truer words were never spoken…gossip can be so very harmful.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  6. servingtheKingofkings said,

    on May 14th, 2007 at 9:03 pm

    Wonderful Post!

    We have a rule here in our family that if it's something about someone that we can't say in front of that person then we shouldn't/don't say it behind his/her back. Not too long ago…I shared on my blog about taming the tongue: I mentioned that our speech should be: G entle and gracious

    R espectful

    E ncouraging

    A ppropriate

    T ruthful

    Have a "g.r.e.a.t." talk today 🙂 !

  7. cryskey said,

    on May 14th, 2007 at 9:54 pm

    Wow, good study. . .

    I need to print that on my forehead, because I have to tell ya, this one I struggle with. Excusing it with venting about whoever has rubbed me the wrong way. I like what serving the king of kings has on her comment. I will try to keep the things that I say GREAT, hopefully I don't end up with my tongue stapled by the end of the week.


  8. wardssward said,

    on May 15th, 2007 at 12:43 am

    Untitled Comment

    Wow! What an eye-opener! Or should I say, a mouth-shutter. I have read some key verses on gossip, but have never done a thorough study on the topic. I didn't realize there were so many verses in the Bible that dealt with gossip. Thanks for reminding us to not use our God-given mouth/tongue in a way that would bring dishonor to Him.


  9. Anonymous said,

    on May 15th, 2007 at 1:12 am

    Untitled Comment

    Great Verses! Another good one that the Lord ministered to me lately was Ephesians 4:29 – "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers."


  10. lynan said,

    on May 15th, 2007 at 6:05 am

    Untitled Comment

    Where is that Proverb that says even a fool is counted wise for keeping his mouth shut (or something like that)? Our sermon Sunday was about the tongue and its power to do more harm than good. James says it in ch.3 pretty well….

  11. sockmonkey said,

    on May 15th, 2007 at 1:14 pm

    Untitled Comment

    Thanks for the great study Jen! Who knew there were so many direct references to gossip? One of your other commentors mentioned that they only say what they would say IN FRONT of the person in question. We take that same approach, except I imagine the person's MOTHER is in the room too! THAT keeps the old pie hole shut!

  12. frogiggie89 said,

    on May 15th, 2007 at 2:48 pm

    Untitled Comment

    <i>If somebody you know starts to gossip, kindly ask them to stop. And if you are tempted to gossip, staple your tongue to the table.</i>

    You should have written the book of Proverbs.

    Your kid,


  13. His4life said,

    on May 15th, 2007 at 10:37 pm


    That sure makes me think and ponder my own thoughts and actions! Thanks for sharing your study with us!

    Love ya!


  14. Nancy B. said,

    on May 16th, 2007 at 1:54 am


    It'th vethy hahd to gothup with yohr tonguth sthapledth to the tableth. (And typingth ith hahd too)

    All kidding aside, Thanks for so boldly proclaiming an area I have struggled with. God is so gracious to help us do the right thing, and to forgive us when we have opened our mouths a bit too wide, and too often!!!

    love you,


  15. bethanyrae said,

    on May 17th, 2007 at 2:12 am

    Untitled Comment

    that staple thing sure caught my attention…..

    Well needed post! It's hard to gossip on a blog….as it's so public, but our "real lives" are a different story. I don't think gals even realize what they're doing most of the time. I did a post on husband bashing that I think is along this same line, but more specifically, gossip about our own husbands. It's curious to me how many do this.


  16. JustGiveMeStarbucks said,

    on May 27th, 2007 at 11:31 am

    This was great!

    Oh, so timely for me, even though I'm just now reading it, days and days later! I hate gossip. Hate, hate, hate it. (I even used to be a pretty bad one, along with my sister.) Gossip has such power to destroy lives. What a great study.

    I've been accused lately by my grandmother of gossiping about HER gossiping — and it's not true! It was someone else, not me, but because I was too nice and didn't tell her to stop talking, I'm getting the brunt of it (because I listened to most of it, I guess). Never again! Ugh.

    Love the pictures of the Igs! I've got a project I'm wanting to do for my husband, too, with a bunch of black and white pictures of our family. Hopefully my tyrant-toddler will leave me alone long enough to get it done!

  17. Anonymous said,

    on June 11th, 2007 at 5:05 pm


    I enjoyed your piece on following the heart.

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