Gossip should not be part of Christian life, says Billy Graham

There is no room for gossip and criticism in Christians' lives because they have already committed themselves to Jesus and are no longer supposed to speak words that destroy other people or their reputations, Rev. Billy Graham has warned.

(REUTERS / Billy Graham Evangelistic Association / Handout via Reuters)Billy Graham is pictured during a celebration for his 95th birthday in Asheville, North Carolina, in this November 7, 2013 handout photo provided by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

In a column on the Bowling Green Daily News on Aug. 7, Rev. Graham responded to the question of a certain Mrs. S.K. about Christians who engage in gossip. The writer admitted that she did not go to church anymore because the last time she did, she encountered congregants who constantly criticized and gossiped about other people.

Got Questions pointed out that gossip is different from sharing information. A gossiper is someone who spreads information, usually about the failures of others, with the goal of making people look bad. 

The Apostle Paul warned in Romans 1:29-32 that gossipers and slanderers are among the ones who will incur God's wrath. The passage indicated how serious these two things were, since they are included in the list of sins that are characterized under the rejection of God's laws.

In response to Mrs. S.K.'s concern, Rev. Graham affirmed that Christians are not supposed to engage in criticism and gossip. Quoting Colossians 4:6, the renowned evangelist reminded readers that Christians' lives should be "always full of grace, seasoned with salt."

Gossiping is wrong because it often involves lying, whether partially or completely, Graham explained. He added that gossiping and criticism can spark conflict and destroy other people's reputations.

Moreover, Graham said the reason why people gossip or criticize people behind their back is because of the desire to build oneself up. Unfortunately, these acts will only give the opposite of the intended result.

Graham advised Mrs. S.K. not to let her previous bad experience hinder her from drawing near to God and receiving His blessings. The evangelist also urged her to ask the Lord to lead her to a church with members that will help her faith grow and love her.