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Good Gossip James 3:1-12

Good Gossip

Some recent studies show that gossip may actually be good for you. James offers a warning and an alternative.

Gossip, as Walter Winchell observed, is the art of saying nothing in a way that leaves practically nothing unsaid.

Perhaps that’s why Oscar Wilde once famously said at a dinner party, “If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come over and sit next to me.” Of course, he also said, “There’s only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”

It’s hard to resist a juicy morsel of gossip, despite universal, transcultural (not to mention biblical) prohibitions against it. The Bible has plenty to say on the subject: “Besides that, they learn to be idle, gadding about from house to house; and they are not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not say” (1 Timothy 5:13); and “He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends” (Proverbs 17:9, KJV).

It’s easy to forget that he or she who gossips to you will just as readily gossip about you.

We Americans have ...

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