Resisting Gossip

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“The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts.”
- Proverbs 26:22

-  What is gossip?
-  What makes gossip wrong?
-  Why do we do it?
-  More importantly, how do we stop it?

These are the kinds of questions that led me to research the problem of gossip for my Doctor of Ministry project at Westminster Theological Seminary. The result was a practical book for ordinary Christians that teaches what the Bible says about recognizing, resisting, and responding to gossip in everyday life. (To learn more about the process of creating Resisting Gossip, read the blog-posts labeled “gossip.”)

Download the First Chapter

Preview, download, and read the endorsements, table of contents, foreword by Ed Welch of CCEF, introduction, and first chapter here.

Ordering Information

Resisting Gossip is available through these booksellers:


CLC Book Center

Next Step Resources

and also in a variety of e-book formats.

Book Trailer

Endorsements and Reader Responses

This is my first attempt at writing a book, and it has been encouraging to hear back from advance readers that it has been helpful to them.

"With clarity and the precision of a spiritual physician, Matt cuts deep into the cancerous disease that produces words that hurt and defame. Not only will this book help you keep your tongue in check, but it will also be a helpful navigational tool in guiding your speech to the joyful discipline of using words to help and heal others to the glory of God! Put the principles of this book into practice and you, your family, friends and colleagues at the office will all be better off!" —Dr. Joseph M. Stowell, President, Cornerstone University, Grand Rapids, Michigan

You have to read this book! I am just kidding. We all have to read this book. Isn't it amazing that most of us have never read a clear, pastoral and practical book on what Scripture says about gossip? Well, here it is. Matt will guide you through this topic in such a way that you will be convicted–I certainly was. But he will do more than that. He will give you ideas about how you can spread good news about others in such a way that the church will be more united and God will be honored.” – Edward T. Welch, counselor and faculty member at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF) and author of Shame Interrupted: How God Lifts the Pain of Worthlessness and Rejection, When People Are Big and God Is Small, Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave, Blame It on the Brain?, Depression: A Stubborn Darkness, and Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest

"Gossip is a spark that starts countless relational fires every day. Matt provides practical, biblical guidance on how to believers can reduce this insidious problem by bringing their tongues under the Lordship of Christ." – Ken Sande, President, Relational Wisdom 360

“In Resisting Gossip: How the Gospel Defeats Gossip experienced pastor Matt Mitchell skillfully tackles one of the most overlooked and destructive sins within the church. Dr. Mitchell’s wise, biblical approach carefully defines gossip (no one excluded here!) and gets to the heart of both the causes and cures of this problem. Full of scriptural insight, practical examples, and thoughtful questions for group discussion, this one-of-a-kind book aims to do nothing less than transform the way we speak to and about one another. Whether you are a perpetrator of gossip or a victim of gossip (invariably both!) you will surely find tangible help and Christ-centered hope in its pages.” – Michael R. Emlet, M.Div., M.D., counselor and faculty member at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF) and author of CrossTalk: Where Life and Scripture Meet and many counseling articles and booklets including Asperger Syndrome, Angry Children: Understanding and Helping Your Child Regain Control, Help for the Caregiver: Facing the Challenges with Understanding and Strength, and OCD: Freedom for the Obsessive Compulsive

“Gossip is such a pervasive and insidious problem it’s amazing that there are so few resources to help churches deal with its destructive power. Matt's book is an incredibly useful tool that I expect to have wide impact in dealing with the problem of gossip. It is thoroughly biblical, loaded with wisdom, and immensely practical. Just as important, it is written in an engaging and accessible style. I can't recommend it more highly.” – Winston T. Smith, counselor and faculty member at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF) and author of Marriage Matters: Extraordinary Change Through Ordinary Moments, The Marriage Matters Study Guide, and numerous minibooks including Divorce Recovery: Growing and Healing God's Way, Help for Stepfamilies: Avoiding the Pitfalls and Learning to Love, It's All About Me: The Problem with Masturbation, and Who Does the Dishes? Decision Making in Marriage 

“This book is excellent. Sweet and winsome in its presentation. Humble, yet biblically reasoned, ‘an apple of gold in settings of silver.’ I pray that it will be used greatly in local churches. It’s good stuff and MUCH needed.” – Chris Brauns, author of Unpacking Forgiveness and When the Word Leads Your Pastoral Search and pastor of The Congregational Christian Church of Stillman Valley, Iowa

“Matthew Mitchell’s book on resisting gossip helped me greatly, and the timing was perfect. I want to thank him for his wise and godly counsel, straight from our Father’s heart.  I can hear the author’s voice and it doesn’t beat me up. It challenges and exhorts, but shows me we are in this together for much good.” – Jani Ortlund, author of Fearlessly Feminine and His Loving Law, Our Lasting Legacy and a speaker with Renewal Ministries, Nashville, Tennessee

“Matt Mitchell did not casually put this book together but asked lots of questions, explored lots of complicated situations and aimed for biblical wisdom that truly applies to all. Great for the home groups at my church to consider walking through together.” – Diane McDougall, Editorial Director at Journey Group, Charlottesville, Virginia and editor of EFCA Today Magazine

"Does the gospel have anything to say about gossip? Matt Mitchell’s engaging writing demonstrates that every Christian needs to understand the hope-giving promises of the Gospel for addressing the heart issues behind gossip. Building upon a relevant biblical definition of gossip, Resisting Gossip empowers believers to apply the Gospel to uproot the weeds of gossip. Mitchell’s principles for cultivating a gossip-resistant church were worth the proverbial price of the book." —Bob Kellemen, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Biblical Counseling Coalition, Author of Equipping Counselors for Your Church

"Jesus never gossiped. The one who loves me and gave himself for me wants me to do battle in my heart, and one of the intense battlefronts is gossip. With this book Mitchell aims to help me win that war with gospel power. Along the way he strategizes about the “principle of overflow,” “pray and weigh,” and five types of gossip that show me that though I may not think I have a gossipy heart in one sense, I might in another sense. This book aims at helping the reader repay evil with good."Sam Crabtree, Executive Pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, author of Practicing Affirmation: God-Centered Praise of Those Who Are Not God

“This book provides a great balance between exposing and articulating the heart problem of gossip and revealing and articulating the gospel’s answer.  The book applied several well-known passages of scripture to the topic of gossip that I had not previously seen applied in that manner.  Many other lesser-known scriptures came alive by the application to gossip. I already am recommending this book – and quoting it.” – Dan Ledford, Pastor: Westminster Presbyterian Church in America, Butler, Pennsylvania

“As a pastor’s wife, this book was timely and encouraging to me. It encouraged me how to love others with grace, how to leave my concerns at the cross with full confidence that Jesus is in charge and I am not. It reminded me to work at guarding my own heart and continue to work at honoring Him.  I would recommend this book to those who find gossip a temptation and to those who are hurt by gossip.” – Jen Ledford, homeschool mom and pastor’s wife, Butler, Pennsylvania

"Dr. Mitchell not only walks alongside us as a brother in Christ to help us understand the subject of gossip, but also gives a proactive, biblical, and applicable plan of how to deal with it through the changing of our own hearts. This book is an excellent resource within our School of Discipleship." – Matt Cox, Executive Director of Miracle Mountain Ranch Missions Inc, homeschool father of 5.

“If you ever speak to other people – Matthew Mitchell has written a powerful book to help you examine what the Bible says about all those words we generate. Reading this will help you, even if you think you are doing well, to grow in speaking godly, edifying words to those around you and eliminating words that harm you and others. What makes Resisting Gossip even better is that Matthew writes in an engaging way, so you won’t have to choke down the good medicine he is offering.” – Elizabeth Nelson, homeschool mom and avid reader, Schaumburg, Illinois

“After reading Matthew Mitchell’s book on resisting gossip I found myself evaluating my motives, thoughts, and judgments daily. It helped me to remember to be a gracious person. This book gives a solid definition of what gossip is, what is at the heart of the gossiper and the one who listens to gossip, and how we can change.” – Stacey Fisch, reader, researcher, and thinker, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

“Matthew Mitchell’s book is personal and loving instead of simply academic and informational.  I appreciated the open, honest self-disclosure.  I really liked the simple definitions, especially of gossip and of judging.  Matt makes it clear that the heart is the core issue as well as the place where change happens through confession, repentance, grace and the work of the Spirit.  This book will be extremely helpful in clarifying, diagnosing, and ‘healing’ the sin of gossip in individuals and in churches. It is simple, deep, packed, and easy reading all at the same time.”  – Bruce Weatherly, Director of Safe Harbor Christian Counseling of Mid Pennsylvania

“Thanks so much for your work, prayer, study, and diligence in writing this book. I believe it will be very helpful, useful, appreciated. Practical as I am, I enjoyed the suggestions, illustrations, and grace that you have included throughout. You made it much easier to apply by your suggestions, illustrations and clarifications.” – Donna Weatherly, Office Administrator of Safe Harbor Christian Counseling of Mid Pennsylvania” Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

“This book provides step-by-step guidelines to make real and practical change in the life of the reader. As a group leader, I like the fact that the discussion questions at the end of each chapter are based in Scripture, making it excellent Bible study material.  As far as application of what the group is studying, no one can read this book without having to make a decision that affects the heart.” – Susan Stallings, small group Bible study leader, West Shore Evangelical Free Church, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania

Resisting Gossip is a book that offers a good balance between Scripture and peoples’ personal testimonies and stories. It is helpful to be able to identify with real people who are normal, have good walks with the Lord, and can still fall into the sin of gossip.  One of the biggest lies of the enemy is that we cannot live a victorious Christian life. This book is so hopeful, not just in the area of gossip, but about anything that we have stuck in our lives that keep us from living a victorious walk with the Lord.” – Jennifer Petoske, Missionary with YoungLife’s Club Beyond in Ansbach, Germany

“The topic of gossip is one not often discussed but so relevant and a great reminder of one way we can clearly follow the example of Christ with unbelievers.  Matthew Mitchell made the text relevant to a variety of different perspectives: persons who find themselves gossiping, those affected by gossip, and ministry leaders, among others.” – Natasha Miller, member of Evangelical Free Church of Hershey, Pennsylvania

“Isn’t it sad that we fear people and their opinions more than we fear God? This really is the heart of the matter. Matthew Mitchell’s book explains this issue very well.  The book is very easy to read, even for someone whose native language is not English. It is understandable and simple in style. I think it would be useful for any Christian, whether new or seasoned. I also think it would be very useful for young people in a youth ministry.” – Natalija Elijas, Children’s Ministry Leader at the Christian Evangelistic Center and Baptist Church in Glozan, Serbia; Women’s Conference speaker

“This book presents real-life examples that I can identify with. They are engaging because, let’s be honest, we love to hear a good story. The reader is drawn in by the example and then confronted with the spiritual ramifications because of the biblical content and teaching on the subject of gossip. The supporting references and practical advice does not leave much room for misunderstanding or not being practical enough. On the contrary it brings one to the point where the final decision has to be a matter of the heart, before God and man.” – Jaroslav Elijas, Director at Christian Evangelistic Center, Serbia, and Assistant Pastor at Glozan Baptist Church, Serbia

“This book is full of clear steps on what gossip is, why it is wrong, and what to do about it—whether generated by you or experienced by you.  The biblical principles so outweigh everything else that they speak loud and clear to our hearts. We might want to argue with what Matthew Mitchell puts forth, but when he puts forth God’s words, we are convicted.” – Rachel Joy, missionary with Asas de Socorro –MAF-Brasil, and children’s ministry leader at Nova Igreja Batista, Manaus, Brazil

“The foundational strength of Resisting Gossip isn’t found in a single chapter. It runs through the whole book. That strength is the good news, the gospel. Not the three point outline that gets a person ‘saved’ but the impact of the gospel that redeems, justifies, propitiates and sanctifies. Too often authors that take on topical issues such as gossip tip their hat to the gospel, assume it as an underlying principle or ignore it altogether. Not so in this material. The gospel is front and center and applied throughout all of the suggestive material in how to deal with resisting gossip.” – Dennis W. Wadsworth Jr, Pastor at Hope Evangelical Free Church, Fertile, Minnesota

“This book on gossip meets a huge need. It is a response to a problem within the church as well as individual lives. I would recommend it to all Christians and more specifically to pastors. There is precious little on this topic.” – Tim McIntosh, author of Leadership Peruvian Style, director of general studies at the Evangelical Seminary of Lima, Peru

“I thoroughly enjoyed and was challenged by Matt’s biblical approach to gossip. As a District Superintendent with the EFCA, I too often experience the fruit of gossip in churches. I believe Matt's work has great opportunities for individuals as well as groups to learn to biblically deal with gossip. I especially like the questions at the end of each chapter and believe this makes the material very applicable for small groups. I believe this subject must be addressed in the church today.” – Jeff Powell, Allegheny District Superintendent EFCA

Publishing Partner

Resisting Gossip is published by CLC Publications an evangelical missions organization with a rich history of providing Christian literature for a needy world.