Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Joe Stowell on Gossip

Joseph Stowell devotes an entire chapter to gossip and slander in his book The Weight of Your Words calling them “Catastrophic Cousins.”1 His most helpful contribution is a list of alternative positive responses when others are trying to gossip to us. For example,

Many times at social gatherings someone will get just far enough into a story to have everyone’s attention and then say, “You know, I really shouldn’t be telling you this.” And of course the listeners all respond, “Oh, come on, you can’t stop now. We won’t tell.” It would be refreshing to hear someone respond instead, “Good for you. Don’t tell. I admire your self-control.” We need to do what we can to stop negative talk before it gets spread.2

1Joseph M. Stowell, The Weight of Your Words (Chicago: Moody Press, 1998), 35-46.
2Ibid., 138.