|Good Morning Everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Changing the tone of the conversation”
Our Bible verse for today: “A contrary person spreads conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.” Proverbs 16:28 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Don’t gossip”
In a soft voice and with feigned meekness she asked her friends if she could share something important with them. Making a show of glancing around to make sure nobody would overhear them she said, “I haven’t told this to anyone else but I thought you would like to know …” And then she proceeded to tell them a very uncomplimentary piece of news about a mutual friend, news that portrayed that friend in a bad light. There was no good reason for these people to be hearing that news, since it didn’t involve them in any way; and, it wasn’t even first-hand information. This woman was simply repeating what somebody else had said to her. Worse still, the alleged incident was completely out of character for the person being accused of it and therefore was most likely untrue. It was gossip laced with a healthy dose of slander and it was a sin.
Yes, gossip is a sin, and the Bible tells Christians not to engage in it. Satan uses gossip in multiple ways to cause dissension. It damages relationships and reputations. It also undermines the credibility of the person spreading the gossip. Soon that person becomes known as someone who traffics in gossip and therefore can’t be trusted.
Sadly, gossip is more common in the Christian community than we would like to admit. It’s what author Jerry Bridges calls one of the “respectable” or “acceptable” sins. He means that it sometimes appears respectable and acceptable because the person spreading it usually tries to dress it up with respectable phrases: “I’m only telling you this so you can pray about it …” Or, “I know you would want to be aware of this so maybe we can help this person to stop __________ (drinking, cursing, picking their nose, or whatever.)
Well this morning, in this devotional message, I’m only telling you this so we can somehow help him, her, them, all of us, to stop … gossiping!
The way to stop gossip is to stop the gossiper. Cut them off in mid-sentence and tell them that you don’t want to hear it. Tell them that they need to go discuss their concern directly with the person they’re talking about, and to leave everyone else out of it. If the gossiper doesn’t have an audience then gossip is dead in its tracks.
Gossip is a sin. And it is destructive. And it needs to be stopped.