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Speak What “Is Good for Building Up”  Must YOU Gossip? 

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"Make it your aim to live quietly and to mind your own business."

(1Thess 4:11) 

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“Let a rotten saying not proceed out of your mouth, but whatever saying is good for building up.”—EPHESIANS 4:29

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Harmful gossip, slander. Gossip is idle talk about people and their lives. Is all gossip bad? Not if we mean innocent conversation in which we might share positive or helpful news, such as who just got baptized or who needs a word of encouragement. First-century Christians had a keen interest in one another’s welfare and shared appropriate information about fellow believers. (Ephesians 6:21, 22; Colossians 4:8, 9) 

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Gossip, however, can be harmful if it distorts the facts or reveals private matters. Even more serious, it can lead to slander, which is always damaging. Slander is “the utterance of false charges . . . which defame and damage another’s reputation.” The Pharisees, for example, resorted to malicious slander in an attempt to discredit Jesus. (Matthew 9:32-34; 12:22-24) Slander often causes contention.—Proverbs 26:20

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Jehovah does not view lightly those who use the gift of speech to defame others or to cause divisions. He hates those causing “contentions among brothers.” (Proverbs 6:16-19) The Greek word rendered “slanderer” is di·a?bo·los, which is also used as a title of Satan. He is the “Devil,” the evil slanderer of God. (Revelation 12:9, 10) 

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Surely we want to avoid speech that would cause us to become, in effect, a devil. There is no room in the congregation for slanderous speech that stirs up such works of the flesh as “contentions” and “divisions.” (Galatians 5:19-21) Hence, before repeating some news about someone, ask yourself: ‘Is it true? Would it be kind to repeat this? Is it necessary or advisable to share this information?’—1 Thessalonians 4:11

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To be sure, speech is a precious gift from God. Our love for Jehovah should move us to use, not misuse, this gift. Let us remember that the words we speak to others have power—the power to build up or to tear down. Let us, then, strive to use this gift as the Giver intended—“for building up.” Our speech will thus be a blessing to those around us and will help us to remain in God’s love.

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