That Old Grape Vine of Gossip

Admittedly, the tongue is difficult to control; and we have all made mistakes in one way or another. But like every form of sin, malicious gossip is something the Lord takes very seriously. Praise God for forgiveness. However, this does not justify ignoring any problem which we might have in this area; we must seek to change and conform our lives to His will. God wants our tongues to be tools in His service, not the enemy’s.
Which of the following is not gossip:
___ Slandering someone
___ Spreading a lie about someone
___ Telling the truth about someone, so that the person will be hurt by what you say.
As you guessed it, all of these constitute gossip. Just because something is true (or you think it is true) does not make it OK to share with others. What is the motive for sharing something? Does it conform to edifying, building up or even training someone how they ought to go? Or does the motive arise out of something much darker? Might a juicy piece of information be shared to show that I am in the know? As people dedicated to growing more and more into the image of Christ, what can we do?
1) Do not listen to gossip. We can let a person know that we do not want to know the inside dirty scoop on others. We enable others to sin, if we passively allow others to fill us with trash.
2) Deliberately pray for your enemies. Instead of spreading the news about why they are so terrible, pray for spiritual growth in their actions and behavior.
3) Focus on doing good towards and blessing that person you might be tempted to slander. If our energy is focusing on loving others, then there is less room available for evil motives to sneak in.
4) We can pray for ourselves and one another that we might resist temptation.
May we not sin through those words we choose to say! May our LORD use our words as choice tools in His service.

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Barry Newton

Married to his wonderful wife Sofia and a former missionary in Brazil, Barry enjoys trying to express old truths in fresh ways. They are the parents of two young men.

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