I have two questions for you:
First, is slander the same as a lie? Not exactly, I guess, because slander implies an added ingredient: A lie told with malice. Sort of a verbal mixture of gasoline and sparks.
Second: When a gossip or slanderer is not gossiping with you, what is he saying to the people he’s with?
Will Rogers once declared: “Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.” Can you just imagine it? “Polly wants a cracker: And what do you think about widow Smith hooking up with brother Jones?”
We all know that gossip is wrong. There are more Bible passages against gossip than there are parrots in Tennessee. “Do not speak evil of a brother,” James warns. “The one who speaks against or judges a brother, speaks evil against the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law, but a judge” (James 4:11). Note that James says not to “speak against a brother.”
We can’t speak against him (or her of course) when we have our facts right or wrong. Sometimes, you see, a gossip declares in flimsy defense: “But what I say is true!”
Yes, my beloved, it may be true. But is it kind?
Most of the time, it’s neither true nor kind.
“Rumor,” Rogers says again, “travels faster, but it don’t stay as long as truth.” The wise man adds: “The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him” (Proverbs 18:17).
Turns out new Christians have feelings, and they can be hurt. So do preachers have feelings, and elders, and members …
Speak tenderly, speak softly, speak truthfully, and most of all, speak encouragingly of, and to others.
Mostly gossips care little for the facts, less for kindness, and still less for the people whom they hurt.
Gossips don’t care; Christians should.