Is talking about other people always gossiping?
The word “gossip” is not in the first translations of the Bible but there are words in the Bible that have the same meaning. Backstabbing, slander, and whisperer are some of the words that are translated from the Hebrew and Greek words that mean you are a gossip, or gossiping.
The NIV and some other translations use the word gossip which has the same meaning. If the meaning stays the same words and translations can change due to the different languages we have on earth now. That does not mean God’s Word changes because the meaning of those words does not change just because the actual words do.
For example: there are many words that mean dung, and most of us today say them instead of dung, but they all mean the same thing.
We can talk about people without gossiping if our motives and purpose is right. Throughout His Word God talked to His prophets about people for them to learn what to do and what not to do themselves. Proverbs is full of a Godly mother and a Godly father talking about foolish people to help their son and daughters not to become foolish themselves. Psalms is full of God’s people suffering from enemies of God, how they are dealing with persecution and heartbreak, and how they want Him to rescue them.
This also means what God’s children are saying to one another is no different than what they would say to the one they are talking about face to face. For instance, Jeremiah would not tell God things about himself or other people that Jeremiah would not say to the people themselves, which he did repeatedly. Paul and the other disciples of Jesus talked about other people as a teaching tool and the way God works in and through those that repent and surrender their lives to their Heavenly Father through His Son Jesus Christ.
This also does not mean the people of God hate the lost and foolish people it means they want to learn about themselves from them by the outcome of their lives, not only for themselves, but also to snatch the foolish from the wrong path so they can know God and His provision. Jesus also talked about people to His disciples. Let us look at some examples to help us realize when and why it was important to Him to talk about other people to His disciples and the whole world he lived in at the time. Through His Spirit He will give us the same wisdom to use for all people in the world we live in.
Matthew 23:1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples. “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.”
Some of you may think Jesus is putting others down, and He is but with the right motives, and for His truth to convict them into turning to Him so they can change. Why was Jesus talking about the religious Pharisees? Do you think He told them face to face? Yes, He did without hesitation. It was to awaken them, and to turn them toward Him. It was like a Shepherds goad turning a wolf, dog, or pig into His sheep. Did they practice what they preached? NO, that was the truth. Is it something they were doing wrong, yes, but it is His truth His disciples and all people could hear and be changed from.
Today we still have religious people among us not practicing what they preach. They preach one thing and live another way. Many people say, “Put God first,” but they do not practice what they preach. Their lives are proving something different than they are proclaiming. Is this gossiping about them when we tell others about them? Would you tell them to their face to help them so they too could be snatched from the wrong path, listen, and give them our Heavenly Father’s way to lead them to His Son and Spirit of truth?
It is only slander when you are not speaking the truth, and it is only hypocritical when you are doing the same thing. We should never proclaim anything to someone else we are not doing ourselves. Jesus practiced what He preached, and when the disciples received His Spirit they also practiced what they preached.
Here is another example of Jesus talking about the religious people in His day to His disciples.
Matthew 15:12 Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this? He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.
When Jesus had finished telling His truth to all the crowd about “These people” honoring me with their lips, but their hearts were far from Him and they worshiped in vain the disciples were shocked that He would say that to such respected and highly admired religious people they asked Him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended? Don’t you know they are important, highly respected, and admired religious people? Are you trying to offend the most admired religious people?
The disciples at the time did not realize he came to end their kind of religion and introduce a life-giving Spiritual relationship with God teaching each person His Word, ways, and thoughts from within.
Jesus was not afraid of offending anyone, nor was He afraid of being offended by anyone because His Father gave Him all truth to poor out and all He received from Him guarded His heart. What He had been given came from His Heavenly Father so no one could ever take it away or get in the way of Him receiving what He needed to pour out for all to benefit from.
Today when we speak His truth as His child we may get other “Christians” that come up to us and ask, “Don’t you know that offended them?” Don’t you know who they are, how admired, how respected, and how loved they are? Who are we being obedient to, their reputation, their own purpose, their own accomplishments, or are we being obedient to God and His truth that may help them be more dependent and devoted to Him?
When we have been exposed to blind guides, or when God exposes us as a blind guide what is our response to them, and our response to God? Are we worried we may offend them, or are we God’s children belonging to Him speaking His words of truth out of love that may give them their true eye sight? If He has revealed to us we are blind guides what is our response to Him? Do we repent and have a changed heart in pleasing only Him in the future?
Any other philosophy and basic principles of the world other than Christ will keep you from being a plant He has planted. If you continue in this blindness He says He will pull us up by the false roots we are building ourselves on and through us into the lake of fire. We do not know when our time is done on this earth.
One more example, Jesus was taking a journey through Samaria and he became tired and set down by a well. There was a Samaritan woman at the well filling her water jars. The Hebrew Jews disliked the Samarian Jews at the time because they mixed different beliefs. Jesus told her after some lengthy conversation the water He could give her would become a spring of water welling up to eternal life. He was speaking of His Spirit.
He then begins telling her about her people. He knew how they were worshiping, and who they worshiped was wrong because of the way they had been taught and He was the one that was going to teach them the right way. The way He did this was through knowing things about the women supernaturally He could not possibly know naturally, which was and is a sign He is God’s First Holy Son begotten from God for His purpose. Jesus always came with signs, miracles and wonders from His Father for His purpose, and through His Spirit we do too.
John 4:21 Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know, we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.
The Samaritan women was being told by Jesus they were worshiping what they did not know. In other words, they were worshiping someone or someway and had no clue what they were doing was wrong. They were being deceived by some man or woman from their past that lead them astray. They didn’t know what they were doing was wrong. Jesus being who He was and the purpose He came told this Samaritan woman the truth because He loved her and all Samaritans and wanted them to know God’s truth and the kind of worshipers He was seeking now through Him and the ages to come.
Today there are many churches, worshipers, and religions that have some truth but not all His truth and they too are being deceived. They, like the Samaritans have mixed in different ways to worship and different beliefs. Today He is calling His children just as He did Jesus at the well to tell all the wrong religions that HE exposes are worshiping incorrectly because they do not know it is through His Spirit of truth we worship and it is still the kind of worshipers He is seeking.
The Samaritans could have been offended, stoned Him, or asked Him to leave but they welcomed Him for a few days and learned for themselves who He was instead of hearing it only through her testimony. We all have been give His Spirit of truth to have a personal and meaning relationship with Him to share with the whole world!
I hope this helps you realize talking about people is not always a bad thing. I know He helped me understand when and how to talk about people, provided we are doing it for His purpose and His Spirit is leading us the whole way! We can all receive His understanding if we choose to listen to Him. It is always up to everyone in how they respond when His truth is exposed and told.
Until next time, His peace and love always