The face of the workplace continues to change with more and more women either returning to work, working for the first time, or being promoted to positions of power within their companies.
It has been my experience that the more women who work together, the more drama that occurs. We are natural conversationalist, and have a need to develop friendships with like-minded women. However, our conversations can easily lead to gossip which can easily turn to slander. Both are harmful and sinful. Our words have consequences and can get us into a heap of trouble and negatively affect someone who is innocent to the point of being reprimanded or losing their job, which not only impacts the victim, but also his/her family!
As followers of Christ, we are to be an example of a better way of life. Engaging in these conversations can have a negative affect on our character and ability to witness to others. Gossip and slanderous language is usually a symptom of a deep rooted problem; jealously, greed, bitterness, insecurity, etc. If we engage in these conversations we would be wise to do a self-examination: “Why am I gossiping and what is the reason behind it?” Then dig a little deeper to find the source.
What does God’s Word say about gossip/slander?
- Slander: “… whoever spreads slander is a fool. In the multitude of words sin is not lacking; but he who restrains his lips is wise” (Proverbs 10:18) “…that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! (2 Timothy 3:3)
- Gossip: “A preverse man sows strife and a whisperer separates the best of friends.” (Proverbs 16:28); “He who covers a transgression seeks love. But he who repeats a matter separates friends.” (Proverbs 17:9)
- A learned behavior: “..they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not.” (1 Timothy 5:13) Those who have believed a long time are to teach new believers the things that are good, not evil. We should teach by living. We should not engage in slanderous behavior and gossip because it is not a godly character, but is hurtful and sinful. (Titus 2)
What should we do?
- Not Slanders: We should not be gossips, slanders or busybodies, we should “…be reverent in behavior, not slanders…teachers of good things”. (Titus 2:3)
- Love: “…you shall love your neighbor as yourself..” (Leviticus 19:18). Our words should be used to build each other up, not tear down. Words are powerful. Words can make peace or cause destruction.
- Not Be a False Witness: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” It’s a Commandment! (Exodus 20:16). Speaking wrongly against someone can damage their character, their life, and even their career. We should not speak of things we do not know and things we do know are usually best kept to ourselves.
- Aspire: “…you shall aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.” (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12)