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Talebearer, backbiting, whisperings, defaming



Gossip is sharing private information with those who are not part of the problem or part of the solution.

Biblical Statement:

When we speak things about others that we would be ashamed to say in their presence, we are no only disobeying God=s Word (Lev. 19:16),

Leviticus 19:16 Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer

among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I am the LORD. (KJV)

Talebearer =(rakiyl {rawkeel'}a scandal-monger (as travelling about); TWOT -slander, talebearer, talebearer, carry tales, slander, slanderer, tale bearer, informer

we are also destroying that person=s reputation in the mind of our listener.  Scripture states that the sin of gossip is not limited to the spreading of lies alone, but also to the improper involvement of yourself in another=s personal business (1 Tim. 5:13).

1 Timothy 5:13 And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not. (KJV)

Even to participate in the act of gossip as a listener is sin (Prov. 20:19).

Proverbs 20:19   He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips. (KJV)

In willfully listening to the one who gossips, we sanction his destruction of the other person=s reputation.


2 Corinthians 12:20 For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults: (KJV)

Jeremiah 20:10 For I heard the defaming of many, fear on every side. Report, say they, and we will report it. All my familiars watched for my halting, saying, Peradventure he will be enticed, and we shall prevail against him, and we shall take our revenge on him. (KJV)

Luke 3:14 And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages. (KJV)

James 4:11-12  Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. 12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another? (KJV)


Matthew 18:15   Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. (KJV)


Matthew 18:15 gives us the scriptural alternative to gossip.  Perhaps we have been wrong in our perception.  By going to that person, we can open ourselves to that person=s correction of our misunderstanding.  And with the clarification of the situation can come our apology.

On the other hand, if your observation was correct and the person=s word or actions have in some way caused another or yourself real harm, then that person is given the opportunity to repent and Athou hast gained thy brother.@  Scripture gives further instruction concerning the course to take if the brother does not repent (Matt. 18:16-17).

Matthew 18:16-17 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. (KJV)

To help individuals overcome gossiping, encourage them to seek Fruit of the Spirit, especially temperance which is willpower, plus love for one another.



1Cor. 13:1ff            Love does not seek its own

Rom. 1:29              Whispering

Rom. 1:30              Backbiting

1Tim. 6:4               Evil Surmising

Ecc. 10:1                Babbling

Psa. 41:5                Evil Speaking

Ex. 20:16                Bearing False Witness

Prov. 17:9              Reporting Matters

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