Thursday, May 1, 2014

Are You a Gossip?

 


























"In case there's any confusion: Gossip is any form of communication, true or untrue, harming the reputation of others without good purpose." Greg Koukl


Gossip.


Gossip is something people are willing to indulge in, as long as it isn't about them, doesn't harm their reputation or make them look bad in the sight of others, and is at least half-true, right?


It is saddening what malicious gossips some people are and how even among Christians, the seeds of bitter speech, envy, or cruelty are spread among the church as if it could be dismissed as a "small" sin or one that will not bring about consequences.


Manuel Gonzales said the following about gossip:


"You know, it's not enough to repent of gossiping where an individual's reputation may be damaged.  The gossiper needs to go to every person that they gossiped to and every person that the other gossiper's gossiped to and say, "I sinned. This was not true, I slandered this individual.  I've asked them to forgive me, I've asked God to forgive me, I'm asking you to forgive me".  Can you imagine if every gossip did that, how gossip would stop?  Apply that to other sins as well. ..."


Jill Carattini stated:


"The critiques and opinions we can so readily offer about books and public scandal, internal gossip and things about which we actually know little all may seem innocent enough. But might there not be a better place to spend our energy searching? Maybe we are looking where the light is strong, but not where keys are really lost."


Greg Laurie wrote:


"...A good definition of gossip and flattery is this: Gossip is saying behind a person's back what you would never say to his or her face.


Gossip is more subtle because it can veil itself in "acceptable" language.  People will say, "Have you heard?" or "I personally don't believe it's true, but I did hear that. . . ."  Or, here is one of my personal favorites: "I wouldn't normally share this, but I know it won't go any further. Keep this to yourself."


Of course, we Christians like to wrap gossip in spiritual language: "I need to tell you this about so-and-so so you can pray for them."  But how often do we really follow through and make it a matter of prayer?"


Let us keep in mind the following humorous, yet true, rather blunt quote:


"If you didn't hear it with your own ears or see it with your own eyes, don't invent it with your small mind and share it with your big mouth."


And most importantly:


"He who guards his mouth and his tongue, guards his soul from troubles." Proverbs 21: 23


"He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets, therefore do not associate with a gossip." Proverbs 20: 19


"Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit." Proverbs 18: 21


"The words of a whisperer are like dainty morsels, and they go down into the innermost parts of the body." Proverbs 18: 8


"And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity..." James 3: 6


"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer." Psalm 19: 14

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