TiO 15 – The Art of Relationship – The Lost Art of Handling Gossip

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The Main Idea

Gossip creates hurts that are in the absence of and without the knowledge of another person. But it has the capability of hurting others deeply, damaging their reputations irreparably, and causing permanent rifts in relationships. Gossip is bad and the Bible has a lot to say about it.

Warm Up Questions: (Choose 1 or 2)

Q1: Most offices do not have water coolers, around which people stand to discuss the events of the day. What is the equivalent of the water cooler (the place where people pause to chat) in your office or school?

Q2: What kind of food entices you so much that an endless supply would cause you to eat until you are sick?

Q3: When do you start to decorate for Christmas? (I know, this is not a question about gossip, it is just something that people like to talk about).

The Word

Read the main passage aloud: Genesis 37:2

This is the story of the family of Jacob.

Joseph, being seventeen years old, was shepherding the flock with his brothers; he was a helper to the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives; and Joseph brought a bad report of them to their father.

Our words have such power to build up or to destroy. Regardless of how much pleasure or satisfaction you get from telling stories about others, our needs in those circumstances must always take second place to the needs of other people.

Q1: How do you define gossip? In what way could Joseph’s “report” have been seen as gossip?

Q1: In what circumstances and with what people are you most prone to gossip?

Q2: Are there words that you speak that you realize could be gossip? Are there people who you need to talk with to reconcile because of the words you have spoken?

Prayer

Pray together that God would give you insight into those words that you speak about others which could be hurtful to them or to your relationship with them. At the end of your prayer time, speak these words from Psalm 19:14 together:

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

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