“Hey John, did you hear what Peter said last night when we were collecting all the leftovers from the big, fish-and-bread feast? I mean, what’s His deal? Who does he think he is?”
Yeah. I’m thinking that never happened. Because Jesus didn’t gossip.
But the church — those of us supposedly following in our Lord’s footsteps — we gossip. We may veil it in prayer requests, nestled neat between a few “bless her heart” statements. But let’s be honest. It’s gossip.
Almost anytime that we slander another or talk negative about what they should do or what they did do, we speak out of the need to boost our own insecure ego. We say things about others so that we, in our own fallen state, will look better. Smarter. Wiser. But do you know what’s at the root? Fear.
We fear not measuring up. We fear rejection. We fear what others think about us. But doing anything out of fear — other than fear of The Lord — will always and forever lead us astray.
Don’t hear me pointing fingers. I’m just as guilty as the next girl, saying something I later regretted. But gossip does grieve my spirit — when I do it and when others do it. Especially when we gossip about those we’re instructed to love and uphold and encourage — like our brothers and sisters in the church.
Who are we to judge? Who are we to discern the intents of the heart? In Christ, you and I stand under so much grace, it’s ridiculously scandalous. Yet in our pride we think we can point the finger and say how someone else’s journey should look.
It’s devastating to fellowship.
Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.
A dishonest man spreads strife,
and a whisperer separates close friends.
Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets,
but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.
I’m pretty sure the call on us is to pour out grace. Yes, there’s a place for holding others accountable if we see them falling into pits of sin. But gossip doesn’t hold someone accountable. Gossip rips them and their reputation apart.
I pray today, as I often pray, that God would put a guard over my mouth. That I would be slow to speak and quick to listen. That I would honor Him and bless others with the words I speak. And when I fail, I pray that the people beside me give me grace. And I praise Him that He never forsakes, always forgives, and continues to sanctify.
Glad I got that out.
Fill me, Lord…
How have you seen gossip destroy others?