12 Bible Verses about Gossip

verses about gossip

  • Psalm 101:5 ESV
    Whoever slanders his neighbor secretly
        I will destroy.
    Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart
        I will not endure.
  • Psalm 141:3 NIV
    Set a guard over my mouth, Lord;
        keep watch over the door of my lips.
  • Proverbs 11:13 NIV
    A gossip betrays a confidence,
        but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.
  • Proverbs 16:28 NIV
    A perverse person stirs up conflict,
        and a gossip separates close friends.
  • Proverbs 17:9 ESV
    Whoever covers an offense seeks love,
        but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.
  • Proverbs 18:7-8 NIV
    The mouths of fools are their undoing,
       and their lips are a snare to their very lives.
    The words of a gossip are like choice morsels;
        they go down to the inmost parts.
  • Proverbs 20:19 NIV
    A gossip betrays a confidence;
        so avoid anyone who talks too much.
  • Proverbs 25:9-10 ESV
    Argue your case with your neighbor himself,
        and do not reveal another’s secret,
    10 lest he who hears you bring shame upon you,
        and your ill repute have no end.
  • Proverbs 26:20 NIV
    Without wood a fire goes out;
        without a gossip a quarrel dies down.
  • Romans 1:29-30 ESV
    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,
  • Ephesians 4:29 ESV
    Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
  • 1 Timothy 5:13 ESV
    Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but alsogossips and busybodies, saying what they should not.

This is why I need a Savior

psalm 103.jpg

I was a freshman in college when an older friend took me for a walk and confronted me about the deathly sharpness of my tongue, how I could cut another student to pieces and leave them in shreds on the campus floor.

Since then, there has been grace.

The Holy Spirit dug out mounds of trash and began growing kindness, gentleness, and self-control in me.

I started to think that this new ‘me’ is the real me, the gracious and gentle me who loves others and keeps her tongue in check.  I thought I had learned the lesson:

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts,
    but the tongue of the wise brings healing (Proverbs 12:18 ESV).

But it was pride, foolish pride.

Now, the Lord is breaking that self-righteousness right down. It stings and aches, and I’d just like Him to finish the construction project already so I can stop feeling so bruised and laid bare.

I’ve been losing my ‘cool,’ snapping back when I felt challenged, flashing to defend myself.

One time felt like a fluke, just a bad day. But then it happened again. And again.

Every time, I’d think, “What’s wrong with me?  That’s not who I am!”

I’d spend days, weeks even after each incident rehearsing the scenes in my mind, wincing at my words, embarrassed and ashamed.

I resolved to try harder next time. Be calm. Stay in control. Take deep breaths.  Don’t talk when provoked.  Be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to get angry.

Not that I’m cursing or yelling, of course.  It’s just that temporary loss of control, speaking now and thinking later (with regret).

That’s not me.   I’m sweet and kind.  I’m patient and slow to speak.

That’s what I kept telling myself.

But the truth is even when I kept control of my tongue, the trash was in my heart–the criticism or judgments, the flashes of self-protective wit and anger.

Now God seems to be letting the trash of my heart come pouring out my mouth so I can’t hide it, not even from myself.

I keep entering the boxing ring and beating at myself with the same commentary.

I can’t believe I said that. 

That’s not me.  That’s not who I am. 

What’s wrong with me?

Why am I so easily provoked?

I am an idiot.

I’m so embarrassed.  

I review my day as a mom and realize I blew it here and I messed up there.  I hear how my tone of voices loses gentleness even with my own kids.

I’ve spent months carrying around a load of shame and embarrassment because I just can’t seem to shake my reactivity.

What’s wrong with me?

Then this weekend, I read Simply Tuesday by Emily P. Freeman and she pinned me to a display board when she said this:

Shock and shame are my most natural and immediate responses when I make a bad choice or have a bad reaction….If I feel shocked and ashamed when I snap…, maybe I’m assuming I can handle life on my own and I don’t really need redemption, not really. And so when my soul has a bad idea, I can’t believe it.

Shock and shame. That’s been me.

Why am I so shocked by my own sinfulness?  Every. Single. Time.

It’s because I’ve been leaning so heavily on my own self-righteousness that I’ve failed to collapse in the arms of grace.

It’s because I’ve been assuming I could be perfect and am angry when I’m not.

I have messages I tell my kids over and over, hoping they’ll ring true in the deepest parts of them.

I love you.

You’re beautiful. 

I believe in you.

And this:

No one is perfect. We all mess up.  We sin.  That’s why we need a Savior.  If we could be perfect on our own, we wouldn’t need Jesus.

Maybe in this season of humility and the breaking down, I find myself learning the lesson I’ve been preaching—

Accept the grace.  Be loved.

Stop being shocked and embarrassed because I need a Savior.

Be humbled and live in awe of the One who Saves.

I don’t receive mercy because I’m perfect; I receive it because I’m imperfect and relying on Christ.

Aren’t we all?

The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
    slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
    nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
    or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he removed our transgressions from us (Psalm 103:8-12 NIV).


Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2015 Heather King


Dear daughter, what happened to the 90 pencils I already sent to school?

Seventy-two pencils.

That is how many pencils we carried into her classroom the last week of August.

We placed 72 yellow, No. 2 pencils into the communal pencil bin in the classroom where all the pencils go to be happily shared among the entire fourth grade classroom.

That’s how it really works.  You don’t buy the supplies for your own child.  You buy them for the classroom.psalm19-14

In years past, I didn’t know that top-secret information and I had foolishly assumed that when my kid needed a pencil, she would use one of the pencils I had sent in for her.

But now, armed with the full insider’s knowledge of a truly experienced Super Mom, I had stocked her own desk this year with about 15 or so pencils as a secret stash.  These were the rainbow-colored, glittery, fancy pencils I had purchased special, just for her, unique, not-for-sharing.

Not only that, we had sat on the couch the day before and hand-sharpened that secret stash of super-cool pencils so that she wouldn’t be caught with an unsharpened pencil, thereby ensuring her success in fourth grade.

This is in addition to the 72 pencils we bought for the actual, official school supply list.

So, what is that?  Something around 90 pencils placed in her classroom the week before school started.

Maybe that’s why I went a little Mom-crazy when she announced she didn’t have any pencils she could use just three weeks after school started.

This precious child climbed into the very back of the minivan after school and hollered up to me in the front, over top of the ambient noise of three other children,  “Mom, do you think you can get me some mechanical pencils?”

Wait, what?

Didn’t I just buy you 72 pencils?  And then another 15 or so on top of that?  Hadn’t we both pre-sharpened pencils to put into your desk so you would have a supply of ready-to-use writing utensils?  Hadn’t I ended up with blisters on my hands from said pencil sharpening?

What happened to the 90 pencils we’ve already sent?




I ask her to explain the deep mysteries of this Bermuda Triangle of school supplies.  How can 90 pencils go into the classroom and disappear within about 20 days of school?

Now, I am fully aware as I totally overreact in the driver’s seat of my minivan that I could purchase the requested mechanical pencils for her for about $2 at the Wal-Mart without any commentary about the injustice of the entire pencil supply situation.

However, I feel a Mom-Speech coming on and I feel powerless to stop it.

I mean, it’s the principle of the thing.

Can I get an Amen?

As I pepper her with questions, zinging them at her one after another, I think that I should have been a lawyer.  My logic is impeccable.  My persistence unmatched.  My sense of justice praiseworthy.

I am on the roll of all rolls.

But I stop.

I suck in my breath.

I never meant this to turn into a cross-examination with my poor child on a witness stand defending her history of pencil use.

And yet it has.

So, the prosecution rests.

Later, she tells me that she has some of those pencils still in her desk, but they just don’t sharpen well.  The lead continually breaks on her, even while she still has the sharpener in her hand.  It takes so much time, she tells me.  She thought some mechanical pencils will be easier.

I admit.  They just don’t make pencils like they used to.  These cheap pencils might look so glitzy on the outside, but that lead is always breaking and they never seem to sharpen just right.

I go to the store.  I pay $2.  I buy mechanical pencils with extra thick lead so they don’t break all the time.

I bring them home.  She finds them on the counter after school and thanks me with a hug.

Mom crisis ended.

But I think…

How many of my mistakes as a mom and as a woman would be avoided if I responded instead of reacted?

Even if she was tossing those pencils into the trashcan and wasting them out of foolishness and irresponsibility, surely my best response would be quiet grace and gentle correction, not a tidal wave of Mom-justice.

He who has knowledge spares his words,
And a man of understanding is of a calm spirit (Proverbs 17:27 NKJV).

Less words….more understanding….more calm, that’s wisdom and wisdom is what I want.

Lord, help us to respond and not react.  Help us to take time for wisdom-seeking and prayer instead of saying whatever comes into our head right away.  Forgive us for the times we’ve hurt others with our words.  May “the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight” (Psalm 19:14 NKJV).  Amen.


Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2014 Heather King