The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to inmost parts.
What is your favorite meal? How about your favorite dessert? When you know you are going to be able to have one or the other – or both – that’s some pretty sweet anticipation, isn’t it? And once the plate is set before you, your anticipation reaches its peak…but it’s that first bite that is so enjoyable, right? You sink your teeth into that hot, juicy steak or that silky smooth and sweet dessert. Wow! That’s a powerful experience most humans have in common.
Hearing some “good” gossip tends to have the same effect.
Most of us don’t tend to think of or anticipate hearing some gossip with the same intensity that I described above, but the impact tends to be about the same. Hearing the salacious details of other people’s lives is a strong temptation for most people, and when we “consume” them, they can be rather satisfying. And while the Bible is clear when it comes to sin of the gossip or “talebearer”, I want to focus on why it is so tempting – and satisfying – for the hearer.
Quite simply, gossip taps directly into the darkness of the human heart. Our sin leads us to delight in other people’s pain or misfortune or “dirty laundry”. Like Satan’s temptation of Eve (and Adam), we desire the knowledge of other things…good and evil…and don’t like not having it. When we gain access to the “secret things” via gossip, it gives us what I like to call a “god-rush”, and all of a sudden, we have some omniscience – and we like it. It makes us feel powerful and special because we have “inside information” like God himself. In short, we desire to be like God, just like Lucifer did before he fell.
Perhaps if we think about gossip in these more audacious terms it will help us see why God’s Word speaks so loudly about the gossip, as well as the people who dine so ravenously on their “choice morsels”. We need to be sober minded about the fact that when we do one or the other or both…we are attempting to steal a little time on God’s throne…and I don’t think I need to tell you how bad of an idea that is.