Monday, June 13th, 2016
Proverbs For Performers (Part 35)
Tale Bearing In Church
A perverse man sows strife,
And a whisperer separates the best of friends.
Proverbs 16:28 (NKJV)
He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets;
Therefore do not associate with one who flatters with his lips.
Proverbs 20:19 (NKJV)
The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles,
And they go down into the inmost body.
Proverbs 18:8 (NKJV)
Where there is no wood, the fire goes out;
And where there is no talebearer, strife ceases.
Proverbs 26:20 (NKJV)
Gossip is a test many people fail, including me--too many times to count.* Thank God for His try-again policy. But shouldn't we examine our mistakes, respect our Teacher and work to improve?
The foundation of gossip is trouble: wrong-doing, sensation and suffering. Distress is compelling, as it should be. We're drawn to see and consider ordeals: 'Poor so-and-so who suffered such-and-such.' Ideally, we assist poor so-and-so.
But sometimes, we overstep God's border and enter a place of hateful remarks. If mercy is a field we're called to till, if gossip is the devil's patch of thorns, then we've left the confines of compassion and walked into some deep-rooted badlands...
Where the sheriff is meanly persuasive. In his eyes, every man deserves hanging. And the more we hang out with the sheriff, the more our hearts and minds resemble his. But The Judge will soon reclaim the badlands and uproot gossip with divine justice.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Judgment is solely God's property. Jesus bled from gossip's crown of thorns to show us how accusations hurt. Because people believed the gossip and earth's One Innocent Man was hanged.
Even more, if you remain silent in the midst of a condemning mob, you're guilty by association. 'Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin' (James 4:17). Remember when a young man named Saul silently witnessed Stephen's stoning?**
So the next time you hear some gossip, consider a few kind rebuttals: 1. We don't know all facts. We shouldn't judge. 2. I'm too guilty to condemn people. 3. Without Christ, I'm a total loser. Maybe you've got a cooler way to speak.
If spreading gossip is clearly wrong, so is staying mute when you hear it. You've been cast as communicators, and your news is wholeheartedly good.
To Be Continued...
* Verses about gossip: http://www.openbible.info/topics/gossip
** Acts 7:57-60, 8:1: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=acts%207:57-60,%208:1&version=NKJV
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Proverbs for Performers series.