21 Bible Verses on Gossip

Chris Martin
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God cares about the words that come out of our mouths. And how we use our words impacts how we show the love of Christ to the people around us—and how we don’t show that love. Our mouths are very often reflective of our hearts. It does not honor the Lord or the people in our lives when we talk behind others’ backs or spread rumors about people. Does the Bible speak to this issue? It does. Below are some verses about gossip specifically and how we use our words more generally.

What Does the Bible Say About Gossip?

Old Testament

Exodus 23:1
You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a malicious witness.

Leviticus 19:16
You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the life of your neighbor: I am the LORD.

Psalm 15:2­–3
He who walks blamelessly and does what is right
and speaks truth in his heart;
who does not slander with his tongue
and does no evil to his neighbor,
nor takes up a reproach against his friend.

Psalm 34:13
Keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from speaking deceit.

Proverbs 10:18–19
The one who conceals hatred has lying lips,
and whoever utters slander is a fool.
When words are many, transgression is not lacking,
but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.

Proverbs 11:9
With his mouth the godless man would destroy his neighbor,
but by knowledge the righteous are delivered.

Proverbs 11:13
Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets,
but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.

Proverbs 15:4
A gentle tongue is a tree of life,
but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.

Proverbs 16:28
A dishonest man spreads strife,
and a whisperer separates close friends.

Proverbs 17:9
Whoever covers an offense seeks love,
but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.

Proverbs 18:8
The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
they go down into the inner parts of the body.

Proverbs 18:21
Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
and those who love it will eat its fruits.

New Testament

Matthew 5:11
Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.

1 Corinthians 6:9–10
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

2 Corinthians 12:20
For I fear that perhaps when I come I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish—that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder.

Ephesians 4:29
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

James 1:26
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.

James 4:11
Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.

For Further Reading:

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