It's always easier to stand on the sidelines and take shots at others, than it is to focus on the good qualities in others. God is very blunt about judging others:
"What right do you have to criticize someone else's servants?
Only their Lord can decide if they are doing right..."
Whenever you criticize or judge another person, three things instantly happen: you lose closeness with God, you expose your own pride and insecurity, you set yourself up to be judged. A critical spirit is a costly vice.
The Bible calls Satan "the accuser, slanderer". In fact that's what the name Devil literally means "Slanderer". Anytime we judge, accuse, slander another person; that's when we're most like the devil. That's when we're doing his work for him.
"Let's agree to use all our energy in getting along with
each other. Help others with encouraging words; don't
drag them down by finding fault."
You know spreading gossip is wrong, but you should not listen to it either. Listening to gossip is like accepting stolen property, and makes you just as guilty of the crime. When someone begins to gossip to you, have the courage to say "Don't! I don't need to hear this! Go talk directly to the person you're talking about!" And always remember; if people gossip to you, they will gossip about you. They cannot be trusted. If you even listen to gossip, God says you are a troublemaker:
"Troublemakers listen to troublemakers."
"These are the ones who split churches, thinking only of themselves."
There's no neutral ground. You are either sowing seeds of love and encouragement with your words or sowing seeds of criticism and destruction. Today is a good day to take inventory of your words and make the decision to sow only good seeds with the words you use.
Speak only in a loving way about those around you. Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you to consider every word before you say it. Make the decision today that your words will bring glory to the Lord.