Weekly Newsletter

Pastor David’s Weekly Devotional
      Someone once said, “Gossip is the native tongue of the church.”  Just reading that sentence grieves my heart.  As Christians, we are commanded to speak “the truth in love” as we continue to mature and become like Christ (Eph.4:15).  Our words are to be edifying not destructive, encouraging not discouraging, kind not spiteful, loving not hateful, uplifting not slanderous, holy not profane, and truthful not deceitful (see Rom.1:29-32; Eph.4:29, 5:4; Col.3:8-9, 4:6; Jms.3:6-12).

      The fact is, God’s Word clearly asserts that a true conversion of the soul directly affects the whole person – heart, mind, body – which encompasses how we feel, what we think and what we say.  In many ways, what comes out of our mouths reveals what is in our hearts: Jesus said, “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Lk.6:45).

      But what exactly is gossip?  Some have loosely defined gossip as “talking behind someone’s back.”  While this definition ultimately falls short, it does make the implicit point that gossip is a “back-stabbing” endeavor.  However, gossip is not simply talking about someone behind their back (for praising someone behind his/her back is neither unkind nor sinful).  Gossip does not even have to be about telling lies.  A person can be completely honest, and yet be a malicious gossip.  The underlying aspect of gossip is slander – the attempt to smear or defame someone with the weapon of words.  Some have rightly labeled gossips as “the silent assassins.”

      Here are just a few of the many warnings in Scripture about the sin of gossip:
Prov 10:18 ~ “He who conceals his hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool.”
Prov 11:13 ~ “A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.”
Prov 18:8 ~ “The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man's inmost parts.”
Prov 20:19 ~ “A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much.”
Prov 26:20 ~ “Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down.”

      There is nothing beneficial or loving about gossip, and make no mistake, gossip is sinful (see Rom.1:29; 2Cor.12:20; 1Tim.5:13).  Too often, Christians attempt to dress up gossip under the guise of a prayer request or some spiritual concern.  We must be vigilant to not be ensnared by this trap.  Take some time to contemplate the following questions seriously and prayerfully:
  • How much of your conversations are centered on talking critically or slanderously about other people (as opposed to, for example, talking about what God is doing in your life)?
  • How often do you entertain gossip by listening to someone gossip about someone else (it is good to remember the maxim, “The person who is gossiping with you about someone else, is probably gossiping with someone else about you”)
  • How much of your blogging, messaging, and/or texting is hearsay or slanderous in nature (it has been reported that there are about 6,000 “tweets” sent every second)?

      Let me close with these sobering words from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ: “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless [i.e., vain or unprofitable] word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matt.12:36-37).

Together in and for Christ,
Pastor David

Scripture Readings for the Week:  (Monday – Sunday ~ Week #30):
Leviticus 19-21; 2 Kings 16-20; Psalm 87-89; Proverbs 13; Ezekiel 37-42; Luke 23-24; 1Thessalonians 1-3
Recommended Reading:

“Life in the Father’s House” by Wayne A. Mack & Dave Swavely

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