“Of Gossip & Feathers”

Posted: May 5, 2021 in Christian Life, Uncategorized

“It’s been said, knowledge is power. Unfortunately, many people like to spread damaging information or intimate details about others, whether true or not. This is what is called gossip. It used to be that people called gossip, dishing the dirt. Whatever it’s called, people use gossip to hurt people, in order to feel good about themselves and to feel like they have power over others.” Dawson McAllistar [1] “Gossip magazines” are money makers for many stores. Don’t waste money that you receive from God on them. (See Deuteronomy 8:18)


Some say our national pastime is baseball. Not me. It’s gossip.” ~ Erma Bombeck.

“Words have no wings but they can fly a thousand miles.”  ~ Korean Proverb

If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.”  ~ Aesop (c.620-560 BC)

“Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events.

Small minds discuss people.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

“There are many places [in] the Bible dedicated to warn us against ‘malicious gossips, busybodies, slanderers, talebearers, whisperers, false witnesses, quarrelers, meddlers, deceivers, backbiters.’”  [Here are a few verses that deal with these subjects that would be good to review periodically and/or memorize:]

“Where there is no talebearer, the strife ceases.” (Proverbs 26:20)

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29).

“If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless” (James 1:26).

“And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell” (James 3:6).

“Remind them…to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people” (Titus 3:1, 2). [3]

God’s Desire. He always wants His people to do what is right in His sight, to be compassionate to those who are hurting, and to walk humbly before God. (A paraphrase of Micah 6:8) Are we doing this or not? If not, why?

Unusual Penance

“The story is often told of the most unusual penance St. Philip Neri assigned to a woman for her sin of spreading gossip. The sixteenth-century saint instructed her to take a feather pillow to the top of the church bell tower, rip it open, and let the wind blow all the feathers away. This probably was not the kind of penance this woman, or any of us, would have been used to!

“But the penance didn’t end there. Philip Neri gave her a second and more difficult task. He told her to come down from the bell tower and collect all the feathers that had been scattered throughout the town. The poor lady, of course, could not do it — and that was the point Philip Neri was trying to make in order to underscore the destructive nature of gossip.

“When we detract from others in our speech, our malicious words are scattered abroad and cannot be gathered back. They continue to dishonor and divide many days, months, and years after we speak them as they linger in people’s minds and pass from one tale-bearer to the next.” [4]

Problem. Some Christians, even from the earliest days of the church, had some serious problems. They were busybodies and tale-bearers (1 Timothy 5:13-15). These particular temptations come from the devil/demons and must be overcome by putting on the whole armor of God and specifically using the belt of truth to overcome them (Ephesians 6:10-17).

Questions. Allen Redpath suggested that before speaking of any person or subject that might be controversial, ask these questions. If what we are about to say doesn’t pass these tests, it’s best to keep our mouths shut. (We should memorize and use this acrostic (THINK) to remind ourselves to guard our words.)

T–Is it true?
H–Is it helpful?
I–Is it inspiring?
N–Is it necessary?
K–Is it kind? [5]

Day Of Reckoning. Believe it or not, Judgement Day is coming (Hebrews 9:27) and all of us will give an account to Judge Jesus (John 5:22; 2 Timothy 4:8) for every word that we say, and everything that we do (Matthew 12:36; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 20:11-15). These separate judgments will be to determine our degree of enjoyment in heaven, or our degree of suffering in the lake of fire (Daniel 12:1-3; 1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 20:12, 13).

Don’t Be Confused. Faith or lack of faith in Christ alone and the Gospel will determine the place of our eternal destiny (John 3:16, 18, 46; Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4). Where will you spend it?

Sure? My Friend, Are you absolutely sure that you will go to heaven the moment you die? Why should God let you into His heaven? Is there anything you could do or fail to do that would cause you to lose your salvation? If so, what? We’re here to assist those who aren’t sure of their eternal destiny, and to help Christians grow spiritually. We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com If this has helped you, please SHARE it with others.

Some of the material for this article was gathered from these websites:

[1] https://www.thehopeline.com/danger-of-gossip/

[2] https://www.thepositivemom.com/35-powerful-quotes-that-will-make-you-rethink-gossip

[3] https://pastorunlikely.com/23-forceful-bible-verses-on-gossip-and-slander/

[4] https://www.catholiceducation.org/en/religion-and-philosophy/philosophy/the-feathers-of-gossip-how-our-words-can-build-up-or-tear-down.html

[5] http://www.sermonillustrations.com/a-z/g/gossip.htm

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