"Is everything you say behind someone’s back Gossip"
Gossip is saying bad things behind people’s backs especially when they have no opportunity to defend themselves. Some have asked me if saying good things behind people’s backs is gossip. It is not because they do not need to defend themselves. One does not defend himself or herself for good things but for bad things. The Bible has synonyms for gossip as talebearer, busybody and slander. Legally slander (spoken) and libel (written) have to do with gossip. Speaking against someone in their absence is called slander (Ps 50:20). Gossip, slander, talebearing are all false accusations. Saying something about someone that is not true like when Paul was accused for being the ringleader of the Nazarene sect (Acts 24:5). A sect he was not even a member!
Examples of gossips
The princes of Ammon slander David unto Hanun. They inferred a different reason why David was being kind (2 Sam 10:3). The Devil slandered Job that Job loved God only for the things God has given him (Job 1:11). Amaziah the priest slanders prophet Amos to King Jeroboam that Amos has said that Jeroboam will die by the sword and Israel will be taken captive (Amos 7:10) just because he did not like the prophecies of the prophet. Because John the Baptist came and was not eating naturally people said he had a demon (Lk 7:33). When Jesus casts out demons, the Pharisees said he does that by Satan (Mt 9:34). Then to deviate from the ascetic lifestyle of John the Baptist Jesus began eating and drinking with people and they accused him of being a glutton and winebibber (Mt 11:19).
Dangers of Gossips.
The preacher suggests we do not curse the king even in our hearts nor the rich in our bedchamber lest a little bird takes it to them (Eccl 10:20). What they are saying is that when you talk about influential people one of their own will take it to them and you will run into trouble. That means; each time you gossip that gossip will leak out now or later.
According to Peter, the busybody was the same like the murderer (I pet 4:15). Busybody is anyone who meddles into people’s matters without being invited. Why it is like murder is because they are killing the character of the person and in those days once your character is destroyed, you were dead too. In those days, people were busybodies because they did not have something to do (2 The 3:11). However, it marvels me how nowadays how people, though so busy can still afford the leisure of adding busybody position. In those days, they walked from house to house (I Tim 5:13), but today they use the phone and internet. Gossiping was a civil infringement in the days of Israel (Lev 19:16) and it is today. I remember how people use to tailgate others even on Facebook to gather what they write to slander them later. A talebearer is there to reveal secrets (Prov 11:13), and those who do that separate friends (Prov 17:9). The danger in gossips is that their words cut deep into your belly (Prov 18:8). Their hatred is covered by deceit (Prov 36:20). People who slander are out to destroy the other person.
How To Treat Gossipers.
God does not deal with talebearers (Ps 101:5) and so Christians should not meddle with them (Prov 20:19). As you know; slanderers are fools (Prov 10:18). And the Lord says that he has no pleasure in fools (Ecl 5:4). As a hypocrite, they use their mouths to destroy you (Prov 11:9).
Until then, beware what you say behind people’s backs.
Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk
“Go for the person who loves you most and not the one you love most for the one you love most may not give you the love you need most because though love is blind marriage is an eye-opener” (Hamilton Ayuk).