In discussing the topic of Gossip we often speak in terms of spiritual reasons why one would want to refrain from the activity of speaking it, listening to it, or in any way being around it. And, yet, as we all know, every spiritual principle has with it a physical equivalent and manifestation.
In the Bible, when one spoke gossip (a spiritual sin) they were afflicted with “tzaris” — white-colored lesions — all over their body (physical). While speaking gossip today is still a spiritual sin, its physical manifestations are different…albeit still quite profound. They include, but are not limited to, a guilty conscience, lack of trust from others, loss of friendship, loss of business, a weakening of family relationships and much more.
And, something else: A loss of personal productivity. How?
Renowned speaker and author, Zig Ziglar (have you read his newest book, written with proud son Tom Ziglar entitled Born to Win? It’s awesome!), writes the following, excerpted from an outstanding article of his. In this instance, he’s addressing only the “listening” of gossip…
“I am absolutely convinced, no doubt about it, that the listener has more to do with the gossiping than the speaker because if you don’t listen, you’re not going to have the guy or gal talking to you. They just aren’t. When you move with purpose, people will step aside and let you go.
“I will absolutely guarantee you, you will save a minimum of an hour a day in two-minute, three-minute, five-minute things. An hour a day is five hours per week is 250 hours per year. That is six weeks of your life that you’ve wasted and six weeks of combination time that you have wasted with the people who were giving the gossip to you. What could you do with six extra weeks every year? You focus on the issue at hand.”
I believe that what Zig is saying is that the physical manifestation of participating in gossip is a loss of productivity. And, when you don’t have productivity in your life, you don’t have accomplishment, in any of the ways that are important, be they physical, spiritual, mental, emotional, social or financial.
Six weeks a year of productive time is wasted by participating in gossip, and not even by speaking it!
Now, that is a sobering thought, isn’t it?
There is both life and death in the tongue; the power to build as well as the power to destroy. One of the biggest destroyers is gossip: negative talk, put-downs, rumors, accusations, bullying (verbal harassment). The harm it can cause — to individuals, families, groups, religious institutions, teams, businesses and society — is immense.
I’m doing a one-hour teleseminar on how to eliminate this from your life. And, while I know YOU don’t have this habit, you might know others who have, or be part of an organization that does. Or you might want to share this with the teachers at your children’s school who are searching for ways to to stop the problem of bullying.
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