30 Days to Taming the Gossip Habit

  • 30 Days to Taming the Gossip Habit
30 Days to Taming the Gossip Habit

This article is designed to create a better understanding of how to tame the gossip habit. For the next 30 days read the questions and allow them to spark deeper personal reflection and life change.

Gossip is spreading idle talk or rumour, especially about the sensational, personal, or private affairs of others—usually behind their back. Often it’s done with the intent of building oneself up. When gossip turns ugly it is done out of spite and becomes slander. Slander is uttering false charges intended to tear down, defame, and damage others.

  1. Read Galatians 2:11–14. Paul wrote about Peter’s sin. What is the difference between sharing information about someone and gossip? How can you tell?
  2. Read Matthew 23:1–7. Jesus criticized the Pharisees. Based on Jesus’ example, what is the difference between criticism and gossip or slander?
  3. Read Deuteronomy 1:27. Was Israel just venting about the Lord? When is it OK to vent about others? Is venting the same as grumbling and complaining? When is venting gossip?
  4. Read Genesis 9:20–24. How was Ham guilty of gossip? What wrong attitude toward his father Noah motivated him?
  5. Read Proverbs 26:21–22. For some people gossiping feeds their desire to feel powerful. Others feel better when they focus on others’ problems. What are ways you can curb gossip’s appeal?
  6. Read Proverbs 26:21–22. Gossip makes some people feel better about themselves or included in a group. What are ways you can feel good about yourself instead of gossiping?
  7. Read Proverbs 16:27–28. What is it about gossip that it separates friends? If you’ve lost a friend because of gossip, how did it make you feel? How can you restore the relationship?
  8. Read Proverbs 26:20. Gossip intensifies disputes between people. When was a time this happened to you? What became of your relationship?
  9. Read Psalm 15:1–3. How is your relationship to the Lord affected when you engage in or listen to gossip? What does coming into contact with gossip make you feel like?
  10. Read Proverbs 25:10. If you’re known as a gossip, what impact does the knowledge have on you? Why is it important to have a good reputation with family, friends, and co-workers?
  11. Read James 3:2. What is James’ assumption about controlling the tongue? How much self-control is enough when it comes to gossip and slander?
  12. Read James 1:26. Like an unbroken horse, the tongue needs to be bridled or restrained. How do you bridle your tongue? What are ways you can better restrain your tongue?
  13. Read Romans 1:29–30. What does this list of sins indicate about how God feels about gossip and slander? Would you add gossip and slander alongside the other sins listed? Why or why not?
  14. Read Proverbs 16:16–19. How does God feel about people who slander and sow discord? Why does He feel so strongly? If you’re guilty of discord, what are ways you can stop?
  15. Read Proverbs 10:18. What does God call someone who slanders? Read Psalm 101:5. What does God say He will do to a slanderer? What kind of destruction is He referring to?
  16. Read Proverbs 11:13. What does this verse indicate about the character of a gossip? Why is it important to be considered trustworthy?
  17. Read 1 Timothy 3:11. From what are you disqualified if you engage in gossip and slander? What makes control of the tongue so important in spiritual leadership?
  18. Read Matthew 12:36–37. What are Jesus’ warnings about the things you say? How do you feel knowing you must give an account for gossip and slander on judgment day?
  19. Read Matthew 15:19. If evil speech comes from an evil heart, what ought you to do? How can you tame the gossip habit? What are ways God can help you?
  20. Read Philippians 4:13. Who alone can help you tame your tongue and change your heart? What did Jesus do so you can break the gossip habit?
  21. Read Romans 6:12–13. What is one thing required of you to begin to control your gossip habit? How can you yield your tongue to God as an instrument of righteousness?
  22. Read Ephesians 4:29. Putting off a bad habit is not complete until you have replaced it with its positive counterpart. What is the positive counterpart to gossip and slander?
  23. Read Proverbs 12:18. Your words can either wound others or heal them. What are ways you can be wise by building up and healing others through your words?
  24. Read James 1:19. How is James’ command to be “slow to speak” helpful in taming gossip and slander?
  25. Read 1 Timothy 5:13–14 and Titus 2:3–5. What is one of Paul’s answers for those who engage in gossip? Why does meaningful work help you stop being a gossip?
  26. Read 1 Timothy 5:22. Paul commands believers not to share in the sins of others. In what ways is it possible for you to share in others’ sins of gossip and slander?
  27. Read Proverbs 17:4. What does this verse call one who listens to gossip? Why is the one who listens to gossip as guilty as the one who gossips?
  28. Read Proverbs 20:19. If you don’t listen to gossip you won’t be tempted to pass it on. How can you stop gossiping? Who do you need to avoid?
  29. Read Titus 3:10. How do you deal with people who gossip? What can you say to someone such as family or co-worker you must associate with but who gossips?
  30. Read Ephesians 5:11. What two commands does Paul give regarding how to deal with sin including gossip and slander? What would happen if churches considered gossip a serious sin?