Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Gossip: A Deadly Spark
I think there is nothing that saddens me more than gossip. Just a few weeks ago, I was seeing a man being destroyed because of two women and the use of their words to destroy him and the influence he had into people's lives.
It was so sad.
It breaks my heart and I think it breaks God's heart.
As Christians we gossip under the disguise of ... we have "a prayer request" or we need to "process a hurt or pain" .... or we have our strong opinions about this person .... and so .... we feel we need to warn others about them .... or we feel we need to share our perspective of them to others.
This is certainly not God's heart in how to handle things.
The questions are .... do we really have to do it this way?
Or is there a better way?
Scripture has given us the perfect two step plan. One, talk to God and two, talk directly to the person you have a concern or issue with.
When we gossip - we put a lens over the eyes of others concerning the one we are talking about. This lens is not life-giving. It taints everything.
When we gossip - we can pass on our bitterness, our judgments, our assumptions, our woundings, our offenses, our view point and we can taint how others view that person through the power of our words.
Words that have creative power.
Some of what is shared in the gossip ... might contain some truth but some of it might be wrong and some of it might simply be our victim mindsets. Our false perceptions. Our own broken-ness.
And the words shared might not be Godly or God honoring to the one we are talking about.
We as God's people really have to get better at going directly to the one we are offended with rather than being weak ... and talking to everyone else under the sun about the person - rather than talking directly to the person.
We as God's people have to be better at approaching people in love and bringing the fruit of God's Spirit to them - even if they have offended us or hurt us.
And for those of us listening to gossip - we seriously have to hold up a stop sign and see it for what it is.
Gossip IS a SPARK that is trying to start a forest fire in the life of another.
It is a spark that is trying to stir up a spiritual tsunami; or a spiritual fire. Remove gossip and you remove the fire.
Gossip usually is rooted in our own pain and/or from our own selfish ambitions. Where selfish ambition exists, there - is all sorts of evil.
If you don't believe me - just take a journey through the book of James! Gossip is spread by wicked people with the desire (intentional or unintentional) to stir up trouble and to destroy friendships.
Behind every broken friendship are the seeds of gossip or slander.
Someone planted an evil thought into the mind of another - and there - it began to bear some bad fruit in the thought-life. Rather than to think Godly thoughts - an evil thought entered from the gossip and it destroyed something beautiful that was ordained by God!
As God's people, we have to point people back TO the one they have a concern with - and stop gossip in it's tracks! Just say NO.
We have to seriously watch our thought life in how we think about other Christians.
We have to learn the heart of holding every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
We have to hold every thought captive in how we think about our brothers and sisters in Christ.
How we think about the lost. How we think about everyone created in the image of our majestic and mighty God!
If we have a concern about anything - we have to truly get better at processing through the offense or issue in a more healthy way.
Lord Jesus, please help us to do this. Help us to control our tongues and to be givers of life and not death.
It is one thing to seek counsel for the sake of understanding a spiritual principle or needing spiritual counsel .... so that true Biblical reconciliation can happen ..... but it is a whole other ball game when we gather with people in order to talk about someone else.
When seeking counsel on an ministry related issue ... this is not gossip. To seek to understand spiritual principles, truths and precepts is not gossip. To discern God's spirit, the work of the enemy and the work of our flesh is not gossip.
It takes true Godly wisdom to know the difference between gossip and seeking Godly counsel. This is a fine line that God must help us to walk as we seek to keep the meditations of our heart and the words of our mouth pure and holy, blameless in His sight.
We need to be carriers of love and grace - and be carriers of the life-giving power of words - that edify and build up. God, please help us. Please start with me first! Help us to let NO unwholesome talk come out of our mouths. Ephesians 4:29. Amen.