What you say about someone else reveals more about you than the person being spoken about!
I challenge you to ponder the above words before reading on.
Only God knows ‘all things’!
Gossip comes in many forms.
One of the worst forms of gossip comes in the form of a “Prayer Request’. The person then proceeds to go into detail about the ‘need’ of the person to be prayed for. This is simple gossip wrapped in the form of a prayer request. I have had to stop people asking me to pray for someone as they seek to inform me of intimate details. I must say, “stop’. I don’t need all that information. Surely God already knows the details.
Gossip in the form of a prayer request drives many people out of the church and keeps many from attending. “Oh, Sue needs our prayers she’¦” and out pours the supposed facts that will destroy her reputation and life in that community forever.
Gossip comes in the form of sharing information. For some people their conversations move from discussion of one person after another. I must say that pastors and preachers and religious leaders of all types engage in this so often. At a religious convention in the hallways and in the restaurants and hotel rooms the common thread is discussion of other religious leaders, not Jesus.
Often my wife and I sit to eat at a restaurant with the minister and wife and other church leaders. Time and again we have had to interrupt the conversion and firmly say, “We have no interest in hearing bad things about anyone. Should you like to continue we will step outside till you are finished.”
Gossip is like a person who has the characteristics of an assassin. A killer who hides and a sniper who kills without being seen, then sneaks away. It is anonymous destruction of a person’s character. Remember the Washington area snipers who brought death and evil and fear to so many.
Words can kill!
Words can steal!
Words can destroy!
“The thief (Devil) comes not, but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy:
I have come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.’
(John 10:10 in the Holy Bible)
Kill a person’s reputation. Destroy one’s name, family, friends and even a ministry of God. Gossip can kill a person’s will to go on, kill their vision, and destroy their income.
Words of gossip can leave scars that last a lifetime.
Just remember that God is the judge and that the person you gossip about, God just may like that person and ‘you’ then are in real trouble. Oh, but you may reply, it’s not gossip it’s the truth! Well consider the following two illustrations from the Holy Bible.
I will just give the passages of scripture and let them speak for themselves. OK?
Bible story one:
Now the sons of Noah who went out of the ark were
Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And Ham was the father of Canaan.
These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated.
And Noah began to be a farmer, and he planted a vineyard.
Then he drank of the wine and was drunk, and became uncovered in his tent.
And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father,
and told his two brothers outside.
But Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and went backward and covered the nakedness of their father.
Their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father’s nakedness.
So Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done to him.
Then he said: “Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants he shall be to his brethren.”
And he said: “Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem, and may Canaan be his servant.
May God enlarge Japheth, and may he dwell in the tents of Shem; and may Canaan be his servant.”
(Genesis 9:18-27 in the Holy Bible)
My dear friend sometimes the best thing you can do is keep your mouth shut, get a blanket and back up so you will not see and cover your brother’s nakedness and not expose them.
Nowhere in the above story is Noah rebuked for getting drunk but Ham is cursed for his gossip and exposure of his father.
Bible story two:
So David and Abishai came to the people by night; and there Saul lay sleeping within the camp, with his spear stuck in the ground by his head.
And Abner and the people lay all around him.
Then Abishai said to David, “God has delivered your enemy into your hand this day. Now therefore, please, let me strike him at once with the spear, right to the earth; and I will not have to strike him a second time!”
And David said to Abishai,
“Do not destroy him; for who can stretch out his hand against the LORD’S anointed, and be guiltless?”
David said furthermore, “As the LORD lives, the LORD shall strike him, or his day shall come to die, or he shall go out to battle and perish.
” The LORD forbid that I should stretch out my hand against the LORD’S anointed.
But please, take now the spear and the jug of water that are by his head, and let us go.”
So David took the spear and the jug of water by Saul’s head, and they got away; and no man saw it or knew it or awoke. For they were all asleep, because a deep sleep from the LORD had fallen on them.
Now David went over to the other side, and stood on the top of a hill afar off, a great distance being between them.
Then Saul knew David’s voice, and said, “Is that your voice, my son David?” And David said, “It is my voice, my lord, O king.”
And he said, “Why does my lord thus pursue his servant? For what have I done, or what evil is in my hand?
And David answered and said, “Here is the king’s spear. Let one of the young men come over and get it.
” May the LORD repay every man for his righteousness and his faithfulness; for the LORD delivered you into my hand today,
but I would not stretch out my hand against the LORD’S anointed.’
(I Samuel 26th chapter you can read the entire story from the Holy Bible)
How beautiful to be around a person with kind words, a loving heart, a forgiving spirit and a Jesus reflecting pure heart.
May we all be ‘uplifters’ and not ‘finger pointers’!
Should you have nothing positive to say about someone then just keep quiet.
One who has gossiped surely needs to come to Jesus and ask forgiveness. It is almost impossible to ‘undo’ all the past but you can go forward with a fresh commitment to speak more carefully and prayerfully. Pray about what you talk about. Ask the Holy Spirit to take control of your tongue and words and purify your heart!
Please go back now and ponder in your mind all the above.
Pilgrim followers of Jesus,
Arthur and Denise Blessitt