DEFINITIONGossip is sharing private information with those who are not part of the circumstances, problem, or solution.  It includes idle talk, spreading rumors, or outright slander about someone.


    Gossip is not limited to spreading information.  It includes improper involvement in another person’s affairs–what the Bible calls busybodies (1 Timothy 5:13).  Gossip is spreading rumors and making false accusations about someone, and it causes division and confusion.

    Gossip is sin.  The Bible commands:  “You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people; nor shall you take a stand against the life of your neighbor: I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:16, NKJV).

    Associating with a person who gossips is sin.  The Bible says: “He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets; therefore associate not with him who talks too freely”  (Proverbs 20:19, AMP)

    Your tongue is unruly.  It is compared to a fire (James 3:5); a burning fire (Proverbs 16:27); a world of iniquity (James 3:6); a beast that needs taming (James 3:7-8); a fountain of either fresh or bitter water (James 3:11); a tree bearing either good or evil fruit (James 3:12); an unruly evil (James 3:8); deadly poison (James 3:8); a sharp razor (Psalms 52:2); a sharp sword (Psalms 57:4; 59:7); a poisonous serpent (Psalms 140:3); a deep pit (Proverbs 22:14).


    Repent of the sin of gossip.  Whether you have been spreading gossip or listening to it, ask God to forgive you.

    Ask God to set a watch before your mouth.  Pray the prayer of the psalmist:  “Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips”  (Psalm 141:3).

    Ask forgiveness of anyone whose reputation has been harmed by the gossip you have spread.

    In the future, before speaking, ask these questions:

    -Will what I am about to say bring glory to God?

    -Is it the truth?

    -Is it fair to all concerned?

    -Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

    -Will it edify others?

    -Have I talked to the person I am talking about?

    -Is what I am saying a fact that needs to be shared or is it based on  rumors and does not                      need to be said?

    -Is it absolutely necessary that I share this?

    Separate yourself from those who gossip.   “Stay away from a foolish man, for you will not find knowledge on his lips” (Proverbs 14:7).  Do not hang out with them and allow them to pour their tidbits of gossip into your spirit.  “A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much”  (Proverbs 20:19).  The Bible says to warn a divisive person, then separate from them if they do not listen (Titus 3:10-11).



    You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. (Exodus 20:16)

    Do not spread false reports. Do not help a wicked man by being a malicious witness. (Exodus 23:1)

    Do not go about spreading slander among your people. (Leviticus 19:16)

    Not a word from their mouth can be trusted; their heart is filled with destruction. Their throat is an open grave; with their tongue they speak deceit. (Psalm 5:9)

    Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. (Proverbs 12:18)
    The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly. (Proverbs 15:2)
    A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends. (Proverbs 16:28)

    He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.  (Proverbs 17:9)

    A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered.  Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.  (Proverbs 17:27-28)

    The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts.(Proverbs 18:8)

    Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer. (Psalms 19:14, KJV)

    He that goeth about as a tale-bearer revealeth secrets; Therefore company not with him that openeth wide his lips. (Proverbs 20:19 NAS)

    Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.  (Psalms 34:13)

    I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me. (Psalms 39:1, KJV)

    My enemies say of me in malice, “When will he die and his name perish?”  Whenever one comes to see me, he speaks falsely, while his heart gathers slander; then he goes out and spreads it abroad. (Psalm 41:5-6)

    You love every harmful word, Oh you deceitful tongue! (Psalm 52:4)

    Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret, him will I put to silence. (Psalm 101:5)

    Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips. (Psalm 141:3)
    Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.  (Proverbs 4:24)

    Hear; For I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things. For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips. All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them. (Proverbs 8:6-8, KJV)

    …Whoever spreads slander is a fool. (Proverbs 10:18)

    With his mouth the godless destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge the righteous escape. (Proverbs 11:9)

    A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.  (Proverbs 11:13)

    A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends. (Proverbs 16:28)

    A wicked man listens to evil lips; a liar pays attention to malicious tongue. (Proverbs 17:4)

    He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends. (Proverbs 17:9)

    A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much.  (Proverbs 20:19)

    The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts. (Proverbs 18:8)

    The mouth of the wicked gulps down evil.   (Proverbs 19:28)

    A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much. (Proverbs 20:19)

    Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down. (Proverbs 26:20)

    Do not let your mouth lead you into sin…(Ecclesiastes 5:6)

    Do not pay attention to every word people say. (Ecclesiastes 7:21)

    Their tongue is a deadly arrow; it speaks with deceit. With his mouth each speaks cordially to his neighbor, but in his heart he sets a trap for him. (Jeremiah 9:8)

    Men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned. (Matthew 12:36-37)

    Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.  They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips,  slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents;  they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.  Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.  (Romans 1:29-30)

    You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things (Romans 2:1)

    The poison of vipers is on their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. (Romans 3:13-14)

    For I fear lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I wish, and that I shall be found by you such as you do not wish; lest there be contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, backbitings, whisperings, conceits, tumults. (2 Corinthians 12:20, NKJV)

    Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. (Ephesians 4:29, KJV)

    Let all…evil speaking be put away from you…(Ephesians 4:31, KJV)

    But now also put off…filthy communication out of your mouth. (Colossians 3:8, NKJV)

    And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.  (Colossians 3:17)

    Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. (1 Timothy 4:12)

    And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to.   (1 Timothy 5:13)

    Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good,  to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.  (Titus 3:1-2)

    Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him.  You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.(Titus 3:10-11)

    Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you–who are you to judge your neighbor?  (James 4:11)

    …be holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, be holy; for I am holy.  (1 Peter 1:15-16)

    Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech.  (I Peter 3:10)

    (See also the topic of “Communication” in this database.)

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