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Inconvenient Thing #11 – Whisperers

By Justin Johnson

This is part of a series on the 25 inconvenient things in Romans 1:28-32.


Some people can’t wait to tell a secret. Since secrets are intended to remain private, the only way to tell a secret is to whisper.

It is still a secret until that someone whispers to someone else, and then to someone else, and on and on. Eventually, everyone knows.

You may recognize this as the way rumors get started, and you would be right. Another word for talking about someone’s personal and private information is ‘gossip’.

Both are sins in the Bible that come naturally from a reprobate mind (Rom 1:28). Nevertheless, people love to read tabloids in the checkout line, and find it entertaining to ‘get the scoop’.

None of David’s servants had the courage to tell David that his own son was dead, so they whispered amongst themselves telling each other instead of the one who needed to know first (2 Sam 12:19).

Whispering can be prevented by talking directly to the person being spoken about. However, the goal of the common whisperer is not to solve a problem or help, but to make private information known by all except the one being whispered about.

Those that wish to harm, injure, or condemn someone else without appearing violent find whispering an easy way to execute their malice (Ps 41:7).

The target of their whispers is none the wiser, but through whisperings they have destroyed privacy, made personal information public, and increased secret enemies.

Gossip does not need to be false to be evil. Whisperings can occur just as surely online as they can over the phone.

Whispering puts people on a secret trial without their being present, without the person being able to defend himself, demand witnesses, or appear before his accusers! What injustice!

If the information is intended to be public, why whisper?
If the information is not personal or private then why the secrecy?
If the information reveals a sin, why not confront and restore the sinner according to Galatians 6:1, or work with their church to rebuke before all according to 1 Tim 5:20?
If the information reveals a crime, then why not report it to the proper authorities instead of cowering in anonymity until someone else does the dirty work?

This is because whisperers and gossips fear the consequence of public admonition, confrontation, and attention. They do not deal honestly, flattering in public, but whispering gossip in private.

Whispering provides anonymity to the teller because it limits witnesses and personal spotlight.

The worst thing that can happen to a whisperer is that they be held publicly accountable for their whispering and gossip. This raises the volume of their whispers, and opens up their actions to public scrutiny, light, and the serious charge of bearing false witness.

“Did you know about so-and-so…?” “Did you hear what so-and-so did…?” “I’ve heard stories…” “I heard, they said, that he said, she said …”

When gossip and whispers of this sort reach your ears it is not convenient, it is sowing to the flesh, and characterizes the carnal Corinthian spirit (2 Cor 12:20; Gal 6:8; Rom 1:29).

The godly and convenient thing to do if you are on the receiving end of whispers and gossip is to not participate (1 Tim 5:22). Nip it in the bud.

If you can’t talk loud enough honestly, then don’t talk at all. Stop the whispering. Speak up or shut up.

Either address the target of the whisper directly if it is a present issue that needs resolved, or keep it silent by ceasing to listen or pass it on. It is none of your business, nor anyone else’s (Eph 4:29-32).

Then, consider whether the whisperer is someone you should meddle with in the future.

What they have done to others they might do to you (Prov 20:19).

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Published: April 29, 2017
Last Modified: May 2, 2017
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