PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• The other day, we talked about that game from elementary school where you whisper something to one person, then they whisper to another, and so on.
By the time the whisper gets around the room, it’s entirely different from the original statement.
It’s a powerful lesson on the impact of sharing secrets, how words get misinterpreted, and the danger of hearsay.
And yet, despite the number of people who have participated in this kind of activity, many still haven’t learned to stop spreading rumors and gossip.
Rumors and gossip have the power to destroy relationships.
James wrote, “but no one can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in God’s likeness” (James 3:8-9).
The irony is that as much as people speak in gossip and rumors, the same people get upset when they find the tables turned against themselves.
As many wise mamas have said, “If they will talk about others to you, what will they say about you?”
Once that wheel of chatter is set in motion, even the godliest can fall into the temptation to participate.
To be clear, there are two ways to participate in gossip and rumors—as a speaker and as a listener.
We may justify ourselves by saying, “But I didn’t contribute, I just listened.”
It doesn’t matter.
The wise person would say, “Hey, let’s end this discussion.”
But let’s look at another angle… Prayer requests.
Have you ever been with a group who are asking for prayer requests and all of a sudden, in the name of prayer, the whole group knows someone else’s dirty laundry?
As Christians, we have to be careful in asking friends to pray for another that it doesn’t turn into a gossip session.
Even if you know the details, does everyone else need to know them?
Is it enough to say, “Please pray for so-and-so; they are facing a difficult situation.”
Or even a simple “Unspoken request.”
While it can be good to have specifics to pray about, it’s not a requirement.
God knows the details so we don’t have to open up the details of a prayer request if it puts things at risk for gossip and rumors.
Proverbs 26:20 says, “Without wood, fire goes out; without a gossip, conflict dies down.”
Let’s do our part to not stoke the fire.
Today, as you pray, thank God for the gift of speaking, but also the gift of being silent.
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you curb your tongue so that it only speaks of kindness and encouragement when speaking about other people.
Thanks so much for the very wise post. As a prayer intercessor, I pray for others, often without knowing specific details, since God knows them.
As you wisely pointed out, the listener of gossip is just as guilty as the one who is “sharing”.