Great minds discuss ideas, Average minds discuss events, Small minds discuss people- Eleanor Roosevelt
What do you think of when you hear the word gossip? Does a memory flash in your head? Do you get a pain in your chest because you still feel the hurt of what someone said about you that was untrue? How about you? How many times have you said something about someone that even if it was true was indeed damaging to their reputation? Even if it is true, does it make it alright? Does it make it right in the eyes of God?
I have been thinking about this after seeing a post from a sweet lady that I knew several years ago but have not seen in several years. She wrote a Facebook post yesterday. You can tell she was hurt and had been wounded by gossip. Do I need to know the details? NO ~ We don’t have to know the details but can still have compassion .
I really believe that when someone gossips about someone else that it really does not say a lot about the person they are speaking about but it says a lot about the person doing the talking. It really has taken me years to really grasp the truth of this fact.
Experience has revealed that those who spend a lot of time talking viciously about other people, either have no other form of conversation, or get a significant rush when they criticize others. They often falsely think that by putting someone else down, they elevate themselves and YET God’s word says we are to pray for our enemies.
This journey to be Christ Like is exhilarating on days and there are days that it is physically painful. Pray for you enemies, SERIOUSLY? Are we sure that this has been translated correctly in the Bible? Yes, I have asked myself that one. Just being real. It is the hardest thing to do. I must admit for years, I did not do this. I would stand up and fight and battle and the only one that was exhausted mentally and physically was me. It has taken me many years and yes wrinkles to understand the grace of God. What he commands us to do is for our own good. He is our mighty protector. If I describe myself as a “MaMa Bear” that is fierce and protective over her children, how much more protective is God over us? God is our defender. The battles that we fight are the Lord’s. He really does not need our help just our obedience.
Words are extremely powerful. Proverbs 18:21 (NIV) says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
Gossip is painful ~ Hateful words travel to the heart and pierce the soul. I know firsthand how hurtful gossip can be, how fast gossip travels and how it can destroy one’s self confidence. I allowed that to happen before I truly understood where my confidence comes from and it is not a Dr. Phil book or any other self help book. It is from the Great Physician, the Almighty God, his and his book alone.
God’s word COMMANDS us that it is never okay to gossip. Scripture points to the damage that can be done by someone who doesn’t keep confidences or who has a loose tongue. Two of my favorites are Proverbs 16:28 (NLT) “A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of friends” and, Psalm 34:13, (ESV) “Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.” Do we want to plant seed of encouragement or destruction? Hey please know I am asking myself this same question~
So, how do we as flesh in this world deal with this as Christians. I truly believe we have to go back to our foundation, the word . We are to be “CHRIST_LIKE” . Our responsibility is to present our highest self—as best we can. Remember again, God has given us righteousness to do RIGHT, NOT do right to get righteousness.
Yes, we all make mistakes . We have are been guilty of tearing others down. But, we also have to own that this, it is a clear choice. The Apostle Paul clearly stated in Ephesians 4:29: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
Second, we have to make a choice to distance ourselves instead of surrounding yourself with those who talk about other people and other people’s business, surround yourself with those who talk about good. Who lead you closer to God. Who GROW you and who hold you to be accountable. It is so much more rewarding to have conversations that illuminate and enlighten rather than tear people down.
God’s word teaches us about accountability for every single word that comes out of our mouths! Matthew 12:36-37 (NIV) says, “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Words of Grace. I can remember so many days that words of encouragement and grace changed my perspective and changed my day. Words of grace is what Jesus showed. He changed peoples lives with grace not gossip.
I heard a sermon last year from one of our Associate Pastor’s at church. I will never forget these words, “The more we know about someone’s story the more judgment decreases and our mercy increases.” Think on these words today~
There was once a small beauty shop that was in a remodeled garage. In the make shift shop there was a sign above the hairdryer stating, “No Gossiping Allowed. If You Want to Talk About Someone, Talk About Jesus.”
The point is, we must nip gossip in the bud. Cut it off at its knees. Don’t even go there. And, let it be known that talking about other people is not allowed in your space. In this journey, Christ is constantly refining us, no matter where we are on the path. Some have just started, some are further along BUT we are ALL being refined if we are submitting our will to Christ. As believers, we have to deal with this demonic destructive weapon of the enemy. We can’t entertain it. We can’t do it. We have to become stronger against it and we have to repent when we do it. Less of you and more of me God. Sounds sweet. Sounds great. Sounds righteous. It also is hard on days, painful at times but the Most rewarding thing you will ever do.
Forgive me, forgive us when we fail God and once again, The sun is about to rise on a new day. I am so thankful that your mercies are new every morning. Clean slate. Let’s get this day started. Or as Toby Mac and Mandisa say in their song,
It’s a good morning
Wake up to a brand new day
I’m stepping, stepping
Stepping on my way
You give me strength
You give me just what I need
And I can feel the hope
That’s rising in me
It’s a good morning
MAKE THIS DAY COUNT FOR ETERNITY ! Because it does ~