A young Indian squaw was brought before the tribal chief, accused of gossiping maliciously about another member of the tribe. The chief listened to the young woman’s admission, and it was apparent that she was clearly full of remorse. The chief had compassion for her but he knew that he must also teach her a lesson and demonstrate the consequences of her gossiping. As punishment the chief instructed her to go to the next village and purchase a hen, which she must kill and bring back to him. The chief told her, “On your return journey you must pluck every single feather from the bird and allow each feather to be carried away by the wind.”

The young maiden did as she was bid and shortly afterwards she stood, once again, before the tribal chief. The chief accepted the freshly plucked bird and then instructed the young woman that there was one last thing she must do, in order to pay her penance. “You must now re-trace your steps,” he said, “and pick up every last feather that belonged to the hen!” The girl was distraught and replied, “Great Chief, the task you have set for me is impossible. By now, the wind would surely have scattered the feathers far and wide across the open plane.”

“Precisely,” said the wise old chief. “Now, you see the full consequences of your gossiping. It is good that you are sorry but understand this: It is impossible to retrieve words you have spoken in gossip. Once you have let such words loose on the wind you cannot gather them back again. Now go, and from this day forth gossip no more.”

A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.

Proverbs 11:13 NIV

Remember that whoever gossips to you will probably gossip about you.


I maim without killing.

I break hearts and ruin lives.

I am cunning and malicious and I gather strength with age.

The more I am quoted, the more I am believed.

I flourish at every level of society.

My victims are helpless; they cannot protect themselves

against me because I have no name and no face.

To track me down is impossible: The harder you try the more

illusive I become.

I am nobody’s friend.

Once I tarnish a reputation, it is never the same again.

I topple governments.

I wreck marriages.

I make innocent people cry.

Who am I? – My name is Gossip. (Anon)

A preacher once took a tube of toothpaste and squeezed it all out into a small glass. He then asked his volunteer – a young boy – to try and put the toothpaste back in the tube again. Impossible! You can’t do it: the paste will not go back in the tube. Likewise, said the preacher, when you gossip or break a confidence: it’s impossible to take things back again. Gossip is like the toothpaste: once you have spilled it out you can’t put it back again!

Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down.

Proverbs 26:20 NIV

“The trouble with gossip is not so much that it is spoken as an intended lie, but that it is heard as if it were the absolute truth.”

Bob Gass

‘GOSSIP’ – even the very word itself hisses when you say it.

Definition of a gossip: Someone with a good sense of rumour.

A gossip is one who talks to you about other people. A bore is one who talks to you about himself. And a brilliant conversationalist is one who talks to you about yourself.

When you throw mud at someone, you’re the one who is losing ground.

Keep gossiping the gospel.