We've all seen it - the endless gossiping and tearing down of others (especially our country's leaders) being perpetrated here on Facebook ... It's truly out of control, with many actually making up things with which to fortify their "tall tales" designed to impress and get people to post on their respective walls
No one seems to know or care that, according to Torah, gossip is a sin.
The Hebrew term for gossip is "lashon hara" which means "evil tongue." One is guilty of lashon hara if they reveal secrets and go about as talebearers or engage in scandal-mongering. A gossiper is a person who has privileged information about people and proceeds to reveal that information to those who have no business knowing it.
"Gossip" is different from just "sharing information" in two ways:
- Intent. Gossipers often have the goal of building themselves up by making others look bad and exalting themselves as some kind of repositories of knowledge.
- The type of information shared. Gossipers speak of the faults and failings of others, or reveal potentially embarrassing or shameful details regarding the lives of others without their knowledge or approval. Even if they mean no harm, it is still gossip.
In the book of Romans, Rav Sha'ul (Paul) reveals the sinful nature and lawlessness of mankind, stating how YHWH poured out His wrath on those who rejected His Torah. Because they had turned away from God's instruction and guidance, He gave them over to their sinful natures.
The list of sins includes gossips and slanderers. We see from this passage how serious the sin of gossip is and that it characterizes those who are under God’s wrath. Anyone can engage in lashon hara simply by repeating something heard in confidence. The book of Proverbs contains a long list of verses that cover the dangers of gossip and the potential resulting pain it causes.
"A man who lacks judgment derides his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his tongue. A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret." (Proverbs 11:12-13).
Many friendships have been ruined over a misunderstanding that started with gossip. Those who engage in this behavior do nothing but stir up trouble and cause anger, bitterness, and pain among friends. Scripture tells us "a perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends." (Proverbs 16:28).
Some seem to thrive on lashon hara and look for opportunities to destroy others. And when such people are confronted, they deny the allegations and answer with excuses and rationalizations.
Rather than admit wrongdoing, they blame someone else or attempt to minimize the seriousness of their sin.
"A fool's mouth is his undoing, and his lips are a snare to his soul. The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man's inmost parts" (Proverbs 18:7-8).
YHWH actually destroyed the earth once because He saw that man was wicked:
Genesis 6: 5 ADONAI saw that the people on earth were very wicked, that all the imaginings of their hearts were always of evil only. 6 ADONAI regretted that he had made humankind on the earth; it grieved his heart.
7 ADONAI said, "I will wipe out humankind, whom I have created, from the whole earth; and not only human beings, but animals, creeping things and birds in the air; for I regret that I ever made them."
Luckily for us, Noah found grace in His eyes (Genesis 6:8) and was permitted to continue the human race! Unfortunately, "fallen" man eventually gave into his sinful nature again...and has continued through to this point in time to disappoint God who - make no mistake! - will expect to hear an account of ALL our words and deeds on Judgment Day (Matthew 12:36)!
Today, it seems that we are just as bad (or worse) than people were "in the days of Noah" or in Lot's time, when YHWH destroyed Sodom and Gemorrah.....
And, the sad fact is, supposed BELIEVERS are contributing to this dilemma! Many half-hearted Believers (the hypocrites who espouse Scripture from one side of their mouth while spewing evil out the other) are actually HELPING to bring in the "end times" outlined in the Books of Daniel and Revelation!
Y'shua taught: "For every tree is known by its fruit. For they do not gather thorns from figs nor do they gather grapes from a thorn bush. From a good man the treasures that are in his good heart brings forth good things, and an evil man the evil treasures that are in his heart brings forth evil things. For the abundance of the heart speak the lips." (Luke 6:44, 45).
For the sake of our eternal souls, we must learn to guard our tongues and refrain from the sinful act of lashon hara because it constitutes willful and deliberate sinning, for which there is no sin sacrifice! Those who guard their tongues keep themselves from calamity (Proverbs 21:23).
Ezekiel 18: 20 The soul that sins, it shall die.
Deuteronomy 31: 20 For when I have brought them into the land I swore to their ancestors, flowing with milk and honey; and they have eaten their fill, grown fat and turned to other gods, serving them and despising me, and broken my covenant; 21 then, after many calamities and troubles have come upon them, this song will testify before them as a witness, because their descendants will still be reciting it and will not have forgotten it. For I know how they think even now, even before I have brought them into the land about which I swore. (CJB)
It is IMPERATIVE to remember that you are NOT pleasing YHWH, by constantly going against His Torah (i.e., via endless "tale bearing" etc.). You cannot be "set apart"/holy if you're ignoring HIS Divine Rules! By continuing to do so, you are risking your eternal life, as there will be no "half-hearted" in Eternity.