by pastor david
2 Corinthians 12:20 (NLT)
“For I am afraid that when I come I won't like what I find, and you won't like my response. I am afraid that I will find quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorderly behavior.”
“Did you hear?” “Guess what!” “I hate to say anything but...” “Don’t tell anyone else but…” These and many similar phrases are often used to tell people things that we know should be kept to ourselves.
When we, or others, hear these tempting morsels of inflamed information, our curiosity is peaked and the conversation continues. The Bible calls this, “gossip”, “tale-bearing”, and “whispering”. The official dictionary meaning of gossip is, “Idle talk or rumor, especially about the personal or private affairs of others”.
Bill Gothard gives us a more comprehensive definition in these words, “Gossip is sharing detrimental information with someone who is not a part of the problem or part of the solution”. Many gossips will argue, “But what I said was true!” Perhaps so but if what you said was detrimental and you were not part of the problem or part of the solution, you were gossiping.
Let’s be honest. We have all been guilty of sharing information unnecessarily and perhaps even unkindly. There is a curious nature within us that seems to be awakened when we hear a juicy tidbit that might cast someone in an unflattering or unfavorable light. I suppose we think we can build ourselves up by putting others down but just the opposite is true. We hurt our reputation, our Christian witness, and ourselves when we engage in malicious gossip.
Unfortunately, the Church in Corinth was filled with gossips, as the verse above indicates. Sadder still is the fact that many evangelical churches today are also filled with blathering busy-bodies who would rather hear or share injurious information about another believer than share the life-changing message of the Gospel with an unbeliever.
Oh how I wish we were as anxious to gossip the Gospel, as we are to talk about the latest tragedies and traumas, the failures and faults, the mistakes and misunderstandings, and the sins and situations of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. We desperately need to hear the words of (James 3:10), “Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so”.
I suppose one will never completely understand the effects of such painful prating until they have become the object or subject of such cruel chatter.
Let’s ask God the Holy Spirit to forgive us and convict us of our sin of gossip and pray with the Psalmist, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14)
Pastor David Boggs
I hope these occasional posts will encourage and challenge you as we grow in Christ together.
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