4 Signs You’re Being a Christian Gossip Girl

By: Kristen Clark

As soon as I saw her text message, I instantly felt the twinge of guilt. This friend was following up with me about a conversation the two of us had shared earlier that day.

We had been innocently chatting about a recent challenge in her life regarding a certain relationship. Without even realizing it, our conversation headed south and begin to borderline on gossip. The details we hashed out about that particular person went too far and were not necessary.

So in this text message, my friend asked me to forgive her for gossiping about that particular friend. I knew I was guilty as well, so I asked asked her to forgive me too.

As much as I would like to think I am “spiritually mature” to never gossip…I’m not. I still give into this sin from time to time. In fact, the incident from above happened just a few days ago.

If you’re like me (a sinner saved by grace striving to honor God), then I know you face the temptation to gossip on a regular basis too.

Due to our sin nature, gossiping comes naturally to all of us. We do it without even thinking.

Proverbs 18:8 says, “The words of a gossip are like choice morels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts.”

Gossip always looks yummy. But it’s effects are far from delicious.

We are drawn to juicy gossip because of our prideful hearts. We love talking about other people’s faults, shortcomings, lifestyle, choices, and actions. Why? Because by talking about “other people” we deceive ourselves into thinking we’re better.

We puff ourselves up by putting the other person down.

This is detestable in the sight of our holy and perfect God (Proverbs 6:16-19). Words are powerful. They have to ability to pour “life” into someone or to pour “death.” Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…”

If you’re not exactly sure what gossip looks like in everyday life, see how you measure up against the following 4 signs (unfortunately, I have been guilty of all 4 at times).

4 Signs You’re Being a Christian Gossip Girl

1. You love juicy news about others.

“Guess what I heard about so-and-so?!” “Did you hear what she did?!” “You’re not going to believe what about I’m about to tell you about this person!”

Do you love juicy news about other people? Do you have itching ears to hear the latest “scoops” on celebrities, school mates, and friends? If so, this is a slippery slope for gossip. Juicy news is normally negative news, and this doesn’t build anybody up. 

2. You talk about people behind their back.

You would never tell them to their face, but you have no problem talking about them behind their back. If that person ever found out about what you said though, you would be extremely embarrassed.

Talking negatively about people behind their back is a sure pathway to gossip. If you wouldn’t say it to them, then you probably don’t need to discuss it about them.

3. You always “discuss” the latest happenings on social media.

You follow certain people on social just to stay up to date on the latest gossip. You want to know what they’re doing so you can “discuss” it with your other friends. You chat through your social apps about “so-and-so” and regularly point out the flaws of others.

Social media can quickly become a war zone of evil speech and sinful conversations if you’re not careful. If you find yourself regularly giving into these temptations, it might be better to “unfollow” certain people, or to get off social media all together.

4. You’re nice towards them in person, but horribly rude behind the scenes.

You put on the show when they’re around. You act super nice to their face. They might even think you like them. But behind the scenes you turn into a snake. You rip them apart with your negative words to your other friends. You bash them to pieces and speak in tones of disgust.

This is not only an issue of gossip, but also an issue of deception, slander, and anger. If you have a genuine issue with this person, then the biblical solution would be to graciously confront them about it. But if your anger is simply rooted in jealousy, then you need to repent of that sin and choose to show Christ-like love to that person.

How did you measure up to the 4 signs of a Christian gossip girl?  

If gossip has become a regular part of your life, I want to challenge you to address this sin right away. Words have power. May we, as Christian women, not allow our speech to continue tearing others apart. May we choose to humble ourselves and repent of the gossip that comes to mind.

You might even need to courageously seek forgiveness from certain friends and acquaintances that have been the focus of your gossip.

Pray for strength each day to resist the gossip train.

Pray for the conviction to see this temptation when it pops up.

As my friend Erin Davis reminds us, “Because of our sinful hearts, resisting gossip is difficult, if not impossible on our own. That’s why we need Jesus to help us.”

To end this post, I want to give you a few down-to-earth practical tools for stopping the gossip in your life right now.

Practical tools for stopping the gossip:

Don’t Fuel the Fire.

“Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down” (Proverbs 26:20). Gossip can’t happen without words. Sometimes it might be better to simply keep your mouth shut.

Change the Subject.

“But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness (2 Timothy 2:16). When the conversations turns to gossip, choose to strategically change the subject by bringing up a different topic altogether.

Pull Out the Positives.

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Eph. 4:29). Instead of jumping on the bandwagon of gossip, choose to mention the positive character traits of person who’s being talked about. Point out something encouraging or nice about them to steer the conversation elsewhere.

Let’s chat.

  • In what ways do you find gossip creeping into your life?
  • What strategies have you found helpful for stopping gossip?

Photo Credit 

Gossip Girl Image

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  • Alyce E Deal

    I love this!!! And my profile pic is me and my nephew

  • MarihelenG

    Hanging around people who gossip will make you much more susceptible to gossip. I find that being around these people automatically stuff you with information that is quite hard to keep to yourself. Just cut of the source of the problem!

  • Rachel M.

    This came at a great time! I have been guilty of gossip, and almost always try to reassure myself that it was a helpful conversation, when in reality it was completely unnecessary. I also want to echo @disqus_GbeD5lLeVV:disqus below. Hanging around those who are famous for gossiping is not healthy. I have had to cut people out of my life that are like that. So that is definitely a great way to start trying to overcome the sin of gossiping. Thank you for this reminder!

  • PulchritudinousCat 2003

    Personally, I like hearing gossip, humans are nosy by nature, but when I hear someone start gossip or ask those questions at No. 1, I either walk away, or put my headphones with music on lol. The only time I talk about people is if its my siblings or my nephews/nieces and I will tell my parents if they are doing something that is definately not okay, hoping maybe my parents can do something about that. But, thats pretty much it. I don’t do any of the other things. I’m not someone who likes being the gossip or being around the gossip. It doesn’t make you look good in the long run. Plus, I’ve had friends be that person and I lost all trust for them.

  • Thank you for the personal tips of how to turn a conversation from gossip!
    That was really helpful for me!

  • Trina

    Very convicting.

  • Ayliana Horvath

    I like gossip. But I do think that most of the time it is very negative. I do think that if it would be building someone up or you would be fine saying it to that persons face it is okay. For example, Say some girl won something huge and you are talking about it with your friends. If you are not bringing that person down in any way it should be okay. Am I right?

  • Gracie

    But -ANYONE- how would you like it if your friend constantly lied to you about everything and perhaps may have faked a suicide (that may be gossip). Anymore idk if she lies about believing in God or what? I am a shell of the girl I was before. Tramatic friendship.

  • This was so good! It’s easy to mask gossip as venting or even two people who mean well trying to resolve a flaw in one’s relationship! But your points put it bluntly: it’s gossip!! Love the red flags, and love the practical tips in the end!!

  • Emma V

    Great blog post!!!!

  • Gabriela

    Gossip is wrong, always, and it hurts us more than it hurts the person we are gossipping about. But not every time you talk with someone about somebody else it’s gossip, I can be telling a friend about something that happened at school with a teacher, and not be gossipping. Gossipping involves saying mean -and often false- statements about someone in particular that we dislike. If all you are doing is telling a story, it’s not gossip, and this does not necssarily mean you would have to tell this story with the person it’s about right next to you. The fact that you share something about what happened with someone to a friend doesn’t mean you are gossipping about them. Now, is there a very thin line between “telling a story” and actual gossip, of course, which is why one must be careful. Just please don’t go on to think that every time you talk about someone when they are not present it’s gossip.

    • britt

      I agreeeeeee with you!

  • I was doing a devotional about this same exact topic. It was discussing about how we need to fast from indulging in certain conversations and being careful of the things we say. I think that gossiping is an overlooked sin when it comes to most Christians, especially women. It’s easy to pass off some of the comments we make as a “discussion” or as “helping the other person”, when in reality it is doing the opposite.

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