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.)
You've been cast as communicators, and your news is wholeheartedly good.
## Proverbs For Performers: Tale Bearing In Church (Part 35)
* 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
NOTE: This is a republished edit of a 2016 devotion series, 'Proverbs For Performers.' You may see notes to 'Actors, Models & Talent for Christ.' If you think you're not in show business, think again. Every disciple in every field performs for Christ. Shakespeare said, 'All the world's a stage and all its men and women merely players.' Mostly true. But you're not 'merely players.' You are messengers and ambassadors for the King of kings.
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Proverbs For Performers series.