Gossip is device of the devil and, as Paul the apostle said, we must not be ignorant to the devil’s devices (see 2 Cor. 2:11).
Gossip and meddling seem to go hand in hand. While a gossip is someone who has a habit of sharing personal information about other people (which can lead to harmful rumors) meddling is interfering without a right, or inserting oneself into affairs that are none of one’s business.
In this season, I’m sensing the spirit of gossip attacking below the belt. Beyond gossiping about true facts, this spirit is crossing lines and doing harm to its victims. Gossip is leading to rumors and even slander.
Psychologists say gossipers are insecure cowards who feel empowered when they spread rumors. According to psychologist Dr. Ned Hallowell, there’s a kind of emotional sadism that’s rooted in gossip, especially if it’s negative. “People tend to take pleasure in someone else’s misery and delight that it’s not happening to them,” he says, referring to such gossip as a sort of “safe, vicarious sadism.”
Psychology aside, gossipers can attract a spirit of gossip that drives them to meddle into other people’s business and, in doing so, forward the enemy’s plans to steal, kill and destroy (see John 10:10). Gossip, which includes slander, rumors, dishing the dirt, backbiting, and planting negative seeds about people, is a work of the flesh and is in the realm of witchcraft.
Serious Warnings About Gossip
It’s important to understand what the Bible says about gossiping and meddling. Consider the strong language the Bible uses:
“Don’t spread gossip and rumors” (Leviticus 19:16, Message).
“And the women also who serve the church should be dignified, faithful in all things, having their thoughts set on truth, and not known as those who gossip” (1 Timothy 3:11).
“A twisted person spreads rumors; a whispering gossip ruins good friendships” (Proverbs 16:28, TPT).
“That you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you…” (1 Thessalonians 4:11)
Combatting the Spirit of Gossip
These are just a few of the many Bible verses on gossiping and meddling. If you are the victim of gossip, the first thing you need to do is remember you are not wrestling against flesh and blood (see Ephesians 6:12).
Even if it’s just a work of the flesh and not a spirit of gossip, you can be sure the enemy is inspiring the work of gossipers and meddlers. In order to take authority over the attack, you first need to forgive the evildoer. Harboring unforgiveness in your heart just opens the door wide to more enemy attacks.
Next, confront the spirit of gossip that has targeted you. Bind the spirit of gossip, in the name of Jesus. Ask the Lord to forgive those who are gossiping about you, and return good for their evil (see 1 Peter 3:9). Moving in the opposite spirit sets you up for God’s vindication in your life.
Another female pastor in my region was gossiping about me. Her gossip, as gossip always does, got back to me. I was angry at first because, as female pastors, we should really be supporting each other since religious spirits love to attack us. I couldn’t believe she would stoop so low as to spread lies about me. Instead of getting into the flesh, though, I sent her a gift—an autographed copy of my book on revival—and told her we need to stand together. Then I invited her to lunch. That broke the back of the gossip attack.
On a more personal front, don’t take the words of gossip to heart. Know who you are in Christ and don’t take another thought to the gossip. If the gossip doesn’t stop, you may eventually have to confront the gossiper. If you do, confront them with Scripture. Speak the truth in love from a place of forgiveness. Tell them what the Bible says about gossip and let the Holy Spirit bring the conviction.
Take pity on gossipers because, remember, they are typically insecure people who want attention. Hurting people hurt people. Realize they must not be happy people and that their gossip grieves the Holy Spirit, which affects their relationship with Him. Proverbs 12:13 (Message) tells us: “The gossip of bad people gets them in trouble…”