A persons opinion is theirs to form and operate on, if their opinion is based on rumors which may or may not contain elements of truth, the veracity onany rumor is anyone’s guess—rumors carry no factual certainty. Rumors are also known as gossip, and the Bible has a lot to say about that.
Without knowing more details how this came to be, lets assume that this person formed their opinion outside of their interactions with you directly and that this opinion is in fact based on rumor.
Scripture warns against spreading rumors and those who engage in gossip.
Proverbs 20:19 “He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.”
Words are powerful, they can build up or destroy (Proverbs 18:21). James 3:2–12 instructs us to control our words, stating in verse 5: “Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!”
Spreading “harmless” rumors can cause great destruction. God desires that we use our words to praise Him (Psalm 34:1), to speak wisdom (Proverbs 10:13), and to encourage and edify each other (1 Thessalonians 5:11; Ephesians 4:29).
The Bible often includes gossip in lists of specific evils (e.g., 2 Corinthians 12:20; Romans 1:29). Spreading rumors is so repulsive in the Lord’s sight that He made a prohibition against it in the Law He gave to the Israelites (Leviticus 19:16).
1 Timothy 5:13 sternly warns against using idle time to spread slander.
“A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue”. Proverbs 17:4
So why do we enjoy the rumor mill?
“The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.” Proverbs 26:22
There is a delicious thrill in hearing scandalous information about someone we know or wish we knew. Jealousy is often the root of spreading rumors. When we learn “the real reason” someone did something, we can alter our opinion of him or her and make ourselves feel better by comparison. We rarely hear rumors that exalt someone’s reputation.
We don’t hear rumors that someone’s son worked hard to make the honor roll again, a friend’s spouse is kind and devoted, or that the Joneses saved for ten years to take that luxury cruise.
That kind of information is not a “choice morsel.” Instead, we perk up when we hear that someone’s son cheated his way onto the honor roll, that a friend’s spouse only pretends to be kind and devoted because he is having an affair, or that the Joneses blew their retirement to take that luxury cruise. Those kinds of tidbits let us compare ourselves favorably with the ones gossiped about, and we feel more satisfied with our own lives.
In Christian circles, spreading rumors has an ally in the guise of the “prayer chain.” Prayer chains are ways that local churches inform other members of prayer needs within that body. They can be useful if the information shared is general knowledge and those informed will truly pray.
However, many times prayer chains become excuses for speculation and rumor as the story grows with each telling. A prayer chain can become a real-life example of the party game “Telephone,” with the last person on the prayer chain receiving information that bears little resemblance to the original request.
When this happens, it is nothing more than spreading rumors and can be destructive to individuals and churches.
“Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.” Proverbs 26:20
We can break the telephone chain and refuse to pass it on. When we hear slanderous news, we should go to the source and check it out. If we are not part of the solution, and the person we are telling is not part of the solution, then the news is not ours to propagate. Our sinful natures enjoy possessing a juicy morsel of information that would gain us attention in the telling. But when we are willing to recognize the selfishness of that desire, we can repent of it. (Psalm 19:14).
Human beings were created to be social creatures, meaning that we are most comfortable when we have family, friends and acquaintances. Friendship is an important element in a fulfilled, contented life, and those who have close friends, whether one or two or a multitude, will usually be happy and well-adjusted. At the same time, those who call themselves our friends may cause us grief and hardship, constantly disappointing us.
25% of people will like you, and support you no matter what you do. 25% will not like you no matter what you do. 25% who don’t like you can be convinced to like you, and 25% who like you can be convinced to dislike you.
The point is, you should never focus your energy on trying to make anyone like you, what you should consider, is that a person who is to be a supporter of you or a friend will be drawn to you because of who you are, not what you can do for them or what you have.
“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother”.