Telling others information about someone else that is not uplifting is often sin. When the person we are telling has no need of such information it is just gossip and slander, even if the information is true. We are called to speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15). Truth that needlessly tears down others is not a loving truth. We are called to bear one another’s burdens, not to expose each other’s sin, foolishness, or shame.

A rule to live by: If you would not say it if the person were present, do not say it.

“You shall not go about as a slanderer among your people, and you are not to act against the life of your neighbor; I am the LORD.” Leviticus 19:16

“You sit and speak against your brother; you slander your own mother’s son.” Psalm 50:20

“He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy conceals a matter.” Proverbs 11:13

“He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets, therefore do not associate with a gossip.” Proverbs 20:19

Dive Deeper:

  1. What was the punishment for making false accusations?  Deuteronomy 19:16-21
  2. What will telling bad things about people accomplish?  Proverbs 25:23; 17:9
  3. What will keeping information to ourselves accomplish?  Proverbs 26:20
  4. What makes gossip so attractive?  Proverbs 26:22
  5. What does it say about us if we tell things better kept to ourselves?  Proverbs 16:28; 10:18
  6. What does the Lord think about people who tell secrets and cause trouble among people?  Proverbs 6:16-19
  7. What does Psalm 15:1-3 have to say about how we should protect each other’s reputation?
  8. Look up the following passages and summarize what they teach about slander and gossip:
    1. 1 Peter 3:10
    2. Titus 3:1-8
    3. 1 Timothy 5:11-13
    4. 1 Timothy 3:11
    5. Luke 6:45
    6. Matthew 12:36
    7. Proverbs 15:28
    8. Proverbs 16:27
    9. Proverbs 17:4
    10. Proverbs 17:20
    11. Proverbs 19:1
    12. Proverbs 12:13
    13. Proverbs 13:3
    14. Proverbs 10:19
    15. Proverbs 4:24