Often these are self-righteous people who are idle and say things they ought not say, being quick to point out the faults of others yet get defensive when theirs are uncovered (2 Thes 3:11; 1 Tim 5:13). Under the disguise of ‘concern’ or ‘we need to pray about this’ they criticise, find fault, spread rumours and meddle in the affairs of others through

We should never be known as meddlers – 1 Peter 4:15

meaningless chatter, neither being part of the problem they are addressing or the solution (1 Tim 1:6; 1 Pet 4:15). Such negative talk destroys relationships. We are answerable for every word we speak (Mt 12:36). A good motto to live by is the golden rule which says, “Do to others what we would like them to do to us” (Lk 6:31).

Our primary responsibility is ourselves; the Bible illustrates it as rather than straining to remove the speck in someone else’s eye dealing with the glaringly obvious plank in our own eye (Mt 7:3-5).

See also: golden rule, gossip, slander.