Don’t be Guilted by the “Gossip Card”
It’s not called gossip once a wife’s murder is reported after many years of hidden domestic abuse, but it’s called gossip if she talks about it before her murder. It’s not called gossip when it is reported that a company/man goes into bankruptcy, but it’s called gossip if his wife talks to people about her husband’s laziness and refusal to work (financial abandonment) prior to the bankruptcy.
Excuse me, what did you say? Gossip? Is it gossip to say that the devil is wicked? Are we not to ever say anything bad about the devil? Jesus must have been guilty of gossip then?
Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message. (2Ti 4:14-15)But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you. (1Co 14:24-25)Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God. (1Co 4:5)
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous [“malicious gossips” in other translations], without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. (2Ti 3:1-8)
Paul in 2 Timothy 4 says about himself, “I have kept the faith,” and then further on he tells about all the people in his life who have disappointed him and done him harm (Demas, Crescens, Titus, Alexander). Yet, Paul is never rebuked for gossip.
The use of the word “gossip” at 2 Cor 12:20 appears to me to be a bad translation of the Greek word ψιθυρισμοί/psithyrismoi. Dictionary.com defines gossip, in English, as “idle talk or rumor, especially about the personal or private affairs of others,” and “light, familiar talk or writing.”
At http://biblehub.com/greek/5587.htm, however, we discover that the Greek word translated “gossip” actually means things like: a whispering, secret slandering, a whispering to “quietly” spread malicious gossip, and to whisper, speak into one’s ear), a whispering, i. e. secret slandering.
Gossip in the Biblical sense requires malice.