We all know what gossip sounds like when we hear it, and as wise women of God we should know how to shut it down it with a simple, “did you bring these matters to her privately?”
But I am concerned that certain social media tools, Facebook in particular, has numbed many of us to the alluring gossip that happens online: The Facebook private message, or “PM.” Those red and white digits pop up and instantly capture our attention. It’s an alert that tells us we’re about to hear some news that needs to be kept private, away from prying eyes.
Ephesians 4:29 says, Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. “But, I didn’t say it! I just read about it,” you might protest.
Electronic gossip might escape our radar for conversations that aren’t pleasing to God. After all, the written word is different than the whispers, facial nuances, tone, and nudges we might normally associate with gossip. When we receive a private message alert, we know we are about to get behind-the-scenes information It’s the kind of enlightenment that could help – or hurt.
Most of our PMs are innocent information: Friends catching up, prayers and encouragement, family making plans, and so on. Then there are the PMs that cross the line into gossip, backbiting or out-and-out slander. Are we as quick to exhort our sisters to leave us out of the gossip chain? Or do our eyes eagerly devour each tantalizing word we see?
These are questions we all ought to prayerfully consider.
At the same time they also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention. 1 Timothy 5:13