Here’s a piece posted by Justin Taylor, quoting several people about how to stop church gossip. We underestimate the sinfulness of gossip.
We generally relegate it to the list of sins that are innocent or at least not as serious as the ones others commit. I frequently tell the people I pastor that a big sin is any that I do not commit. That is what we are like. “Your sins are big. Mine are small. I find it fascinating to check out the lists of sins that are given us in the New Testament. When we consider them we find that some of the sins we consider small keep some very bad company. Consider:
Romans 1:28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
There we go. Gossip finds itself in the midst of God haters and murderers. At the very least this should tell us that it is not a waste of time to work on using speech for more God honouring purposes and given that it is so powerful, using what God has supplied to defeat sin.
We are saved by great grace and the church is to be marked by a unity that springs from love and which is notable to those around us. That most unruly bodily part of all, the tongue, is worth mastering, but it can only happen by a miraculous work of saving grace. Believers need to demonstrate in how they speak that such a miracle has taken place.