Do you feel justified venting to another if someone has done you wrong? Do you feel the need to constantly defend yourself and your actions?
Well, if so, you are not alone. Many of Christians do not fully understand the vastness of gossip. Yes, those actions mentioned above are considered gossip when you talk about another person to someone else when the other person is not present. Yes, I know many people think it is only gossip if you are talking about a rumor, but in all actuality, any talk of another person behind a person’s back is gossip. Ephesians 4:29 helps us to better understand the Biblical definition of gossip.
29 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.
So, with using this verse, anything that comes out of our mouths that does not build up another is sinful.
16 There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, 19 a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.
It is only natural to want to defend ourselves or convince other people how right we are. But if we act out of the flesh, we fail to see the harm we are doing; not only to the one we are talking about but to the one we are venting to. They person hearing our complaints is put in an uncomfortable position. They either agree with you and join in, take on your burdens as well and get hard feelings, or they risk making you mad if they try to rebuke you. Furthermore, it just breaks down church unity.
15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
Now, sometimes we can make a mountain out of a molehole if we go to every person who ever offends us or hurts our feelings. So, how I decided if I need to go to someone is if I give the situation over to God, but I still can’t seem to move past it and Satan keeps bringing it back to my mind, then I have no other choice to go to the other person and try to work it out. As I mature in my walk, I am finding it easier to give others grace (because I know I need it) and not having to confront every offense or disagreement.
Joshua Feuerstein shared an image I found very convicting. I hope it speaks to your hearts as well:
Be Blessed and Be a Blessing,