comes back around
Read 2 Corinthians 12:20 to see what other destructive behaviors often accompany gossip.
How does our perception of the sin of gossip compare with God’s perspective? How do you respond when someone you’re talking to begins to gossip?
As a youth pastor’s wife, I have plenty of opportunities to practice conflict resolution skills with those in our ministry. Especially in working with the girls. Gossip, however, is not limited to the female gender or to young adults (as my husband and I discovered at a dinner party a few weeks back). Recently, though, I had an opportunity to work through a situation with two high school girls, and in doing so we all saw the vivid imprint of the enemy’s work in stirring up strife. One unproven statement of hearsay had created weeks of hurt feelings and strained relationships.
Gossip is never productive. Not when couched as being in jest (Proverbs 26:19), nor when masked as a prayer request (Proverbs 26:23-25). Not even when we believe we’re spreading truth. Whatever the reasons—a vindictive spirit, an insecure heart, or a loose tongue—gossip has no place in the life of a believer.
Destructive to far more than just the person being discussed, gossip has a way of infiltrating the deep inner places of our lives. Proverbs 26:22 says, “Rumors are dainty morsels that sink deep into one’s heart.” To the one speaking and listening, gossip becomes an addictive tool to gain influence with others, and in the hearts of both, its roots settle and shape not only our opinions of others but our ability to trust.
Like a boulder rolling backwards (Proverbs 26:27), the consequences of gossip are far-reaching as it destroys: trustworthiness (Proverbs 11:13), relationships (Proverbs 16:27-28), character (Proverbs 17:4), reputations (Proverbs 25:10).
Conflict is a given even in the body of Christ. But Scripture clearly delineates how to go about finding resolution (Matthew 5:23-25, 18:15-17; 1 Timothy 5:19). While gossip may bring momentary relief or enjoyment, the mature believer understands that the long-term consequences are disastrous.
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: 1 Kings 18:16-46
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