~idle talk, or rumors, especially about the personal or private affairs of others~
If you gossip, you are a thief. You rob & steal truth, joy, happiness, all the things we as Christians are told to think on in Philippians 4:8 (New King James Version). You take away a persons dignity when you gossip, any nobility there may be in a situation, is stolen by the gossiper. If that doesn't get your attention, you steal from yourself. When you gossip, you rob yourself of nobility, and purity. You are no longer lovely or praiseworthy. There is an ugliness that surrounds gossip. As you speak it, or lend an ear to it, this cloud of ugliness appears.
There is a body language to gossip. You can pick out a group of people gossiping without even being able to hear them. 1 Thessalonians say to encourage one another and to build each other up. Gossiping tears each other down, discourages, represses, disheartens. Gossiping only lifts up the gossiper. It might "feel" good to you to tear another person down, or you might even tell yourself, "your just speaking the truth," but your not. If you are talking about someone, in any manner other than praise, you are gossiping; you are being hurtful.
There are some basic ways to avoid gossip. Proverbs 20:19 says, "A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much." Avoid people you know to gossip. Do not be the ear they bring it to, the encourager. Never criticize someone to another person. If you have been wronged, or hurt by someone, go to them. Have a constructive conversation with them. Criticism can never be constructive when expressed to someone else. If your friends start to gossip, stop the conversation, refuse to be a part of the gossip. Do not take on the sins of others (1 Timothy 5:22).
Gossiping separates you from Jesus! You cannot live life abundantly, as promised, if you are separated from Jesus! If you are gossiping, STOP! Repent, ask for forgiveness, and seek out help. Ask yourself, why are you gossiping? Why does it feel good to tear down others? Why don't you want to see someone succeed? What are you getting out of it? These are questions that require self reflection. If done honestly, you will be able to heal the need to gossip.
Stop the gossip and receive the abundant life God has for you!