He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets, therefore do not associate with a gossip. – Proverbs 20:19
How many lives, families, churches, communities, even nations have been destroyed by the simple three-word question, “Have you heard?”
“Loose lips sink ships” was used during World War II to stifle the public’s desire to reveal information, but loose lips can sink more than ships. In most churches the favorite hymn could be “I Love to Tell A STORY.” It’s not that we lie about others (slander them), but rather that we love to reveal a secret. Yet even when the truth is shared with the wrong people it can be very harmful.
There is a simple plan that we should follow. First, ask the Holy Spirit to guard your tongue. Second, if you have any doubts about revealing sensitive information, remind yourself in that moment to remain silent. Finally, if anyone ever asks you, “Have you heard?” just say, “No, I haven’t, and I probably shouldn’t.”
Gossip is when you hear something you like about someone you don’t. – Earl Wilson