Throughout my lifetime I have seen countless rumors spread throughout the Body of Christ, most of which didn’t have even a shred of truth within them. But people who gossip and spread rumors have no interest whatsoever with the truth. These people are slanderers, and spreading malicious lies about others is something they feed on.
There is always a motive of one sort or another when rumors get started. Usually they are designed to hurt someone else, and of course to make the gossip look good by making the other person look bad. Yet the Bible actually has a lot to say about this activity and provides us insight into what spreading rumors actually says about those who spread them.
“At the same time they also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention.” 1 Timothy 5:13 NASU
As I began to meditate on these things and study them further, I began to search out definitions to the word rumor. Here are some that I found.
RUMOR = A story or statement in general circulation without confirmation or certainty as to facts; gossip; hearsay.
RUMOR = An unverified piece of information that is unsubstantiated by any facts or data. And because they are not backed by facts or data, they tend to be very exaggerated and far from the truth.
In addition, I began to research what motivates people to spread these rumors and here is what I found. People spread rumors:
T0 FEEL BETTER – The person who starts it or spreads it is feeling down about deficiencies in their own life and thinks making others look bad will make themselves look good.
TO FIT IN = The person who starts or spreads the rumor is attempting to fit in with people by pretending to be more knowledgeable than they really are.
TO GAIN ATTENTION = The person who starts or spreads the rumor is attempting to capture the attention of others that he or she feels the need to impress.
TO IMPROVE THEIR POWER OR POSITION = The person who starts or spreads the rumor is seeking to damage the reputation of someone else in order to improve their own position or standing, or to increase their power within a church or ministry, or a church or ministry department, or within groups, companies, and organizations outside of the local church setting.
TO TAKE REVENGE = The person who starts or spreads the rumor is seeking to take revenge against another individual because of a real or imagined slight or offense.
TO PASS TIME = As hard as it may be to believe, some people start or spread rumors as an attempt to cure or relieve the boredom of their own empty lives.
And here is something else to learn about these vicious tall tales; rumors spread speedily in environments that do not discourage them.
“An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered.” Proverbs 11:9 KJV
When you are spreading rumors, you are simultaneously announcing to the world that you are a hypocrite!
What is somewhat amazing is that gossips and rumormongers think they are revealing who the hypocrites are through their story telling. And in a way they certainly are, just not in the way they had supposed. Because according to the verse above, all gossips are hypocrites and should be considered such by those who they are speaking to.
“He who conceals hatred has lying lips, And he who spreads slander is a fool.” Proverbs 10:18 NASU
Those who spread rumors are fools!
Gossips and those who are quick to feed on and spread rumors have a tendency to want to discuss with others the microscopic spec they may think they have discovered in someone else. Yet at the same time they seem unaware that they are bludgeoning others with the telephone pole coming out of their own face (see Luke 6:41-42).
And you should also know this about those who spread rumors; they begin to look for people to agree with their position and who will validate their offense. That’s what gossip is. It’s an attempt to elevate yourself above the person you are gossiping about. And when you are gossiping, you are saying, “I don’t make the kind of mistakes they do. Look at me and compare them with me.”
When you are gossiping and spreading rumors you are broadcasting to all who know you that you are a fool and a hypocrite. Because that is what spreading rumors says about you.