Oh, the times I have opened my mouth wider only to change feet! But haven’t we all?
Media outlets make available updates on what people say–whether they meant to say it the way they did or not. We get an inside scoop on a host of tongue malfunctions. Why can’t we remember to apply Psalm 39:1 to our tongue and muzzle it? I will guard my ways That I may not sin with my tongue; I will guard my mouth as with a muzzle while the wicked are in my presence.
The Bible message is clear when it comes to gossip. “Gossip” is translated in Hebrew as, “one who reveals secrets, one who goes about as a talebearer or scandal-monger.”
When a hurting person cares enough to give personal information to us in confidence, we need to keep that confidence. Neither should we elude to the fact that we know anything about that confidence–not even as a prayer request. The “I’m not supposed to tell this, but I know that I can trust you with it!” is still a betrayal of trust. It spreads something that was not intended for others to hear. It’s GOSSIP!
Everyone gossips, not just women. The Word of God has some strong warnings when it comes to gossipers and those who befriend them. In Proverbs 20:19 we are told: He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets, therefore do not associate with a gossip.
Many of us have witnessed church splits that happened because someone gossiped. It escalated until the wounded and broken felt the only remedy was to run to another church or stay away from church altogether. How sad that the body of Christ is often found stirring up discord and strife!
As hard as this problem is to overcome, it can be overcome by turning to God for His wisdom. He gave us powerful verses in the book of Proverbs that will help us not give in to the temptation of gossip. He promised to be our helper and teacher as we learn how to live the Christian life.
Perhaps if we spent more time sharing in love these life lessons, we would have less time to engage in gossip. Gossip is a destroyer and the motive is almost always the same: jealousy, greed, and pride.
God forbid that we use Him and His grace and mercy to continue in the sin of sharing gossip supposedly in love! It would do us all (myself certainly at the top of the list) good to ask the Lord to bring to our minds what James says in Chapter 3:1-10. Let us purpose to allow Him to renew our thinking so that our words will be tempered by His, that we’ll use words that edify, build up, encourage, support, love, honor and cherish.
Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment. For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well. Now if we put bits into the horses’ mouths so that they will obey us, we direct their entire body as well. Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires. So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race. But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.”
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