Sometimes conversations go south on us. In a brief moment, a very pleasant and positive chat with a friend can turn negative. All it takes to soil a talk is a little gossip. Some tidbit of ugly information about someone not present, whether true or false, takes center stage, and before you know it, the absent party is sliced, diced and disgraced by wagging tongues.
There’s something about human nature that loves to showcase the perceived faults and failures of others. We love the juicy raw meat of a scandal, the intrigue of a salacious story, and the sick thrill of uncovering someone’s ugly under-belly. It gives folks a kind of emotional high. It makes people feel morally superior, if only for a few minutes.
Gossip actually says more about the gossiper than the gossipee. It reveals several things about their character, one being a lack of love.
When Paul the apostle described the God-kind of love, he addressed this issue. He wrote, “Love always protects.” (See 1 Corinthians 13:7). The Greek word he used for “protects” means “to cover over in silence.” God’s love is not interested in exposing or exploiting the faults of others, it’s committed to protecting the respect and reputation of others.
The next time you’re tempted to gossip remember, “love always protects!”