It’s natural to want to return the hurt to those who have hurt us.

One of the primary ways we do this is through gossip. We may divulge their secrets or spread untruths about them behind their backs.

If you intend to cause harm with the tongue, you’d be wise to heed the proverb:

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits” (Prov 18:21).

When you gossip, you’re not only doing further harm to your broken relationship (it’s funny how much you say behind a person’s back can get back to them), but you also endanger your relationships with the very people you gossip with.

While your gossiping may start off as a bonding experience, sooner or later people will learn that you cannot be trusted to hold their confidence. Soon enough, you’ll have fewer people who whom you can gossip and even fewer real friends.

What to do instead: When tempted to say something unkind about your offender, say something you genuinely admire about them. If there is nothing you admire, refrain from speaking.

How forgiving are you? Take the forgiveness quiz to see where you stand.

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