Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Loose Lips, Sink Ships: The Trouble with Gossip

If there is one type of person I desperately do NOT want to raise it is...

a gossiper,
a tale-bearer,
a whisperer,
a busybody,
a muckraker,
a scandalmonger.

Gossip is nearly second nature to our culture now, like breathing out and breathing in.  No matter where we go we can find ourselves hearing it, reading it, watching it, or smack dab in the middle of it.  And though we may know how it can devastate, we struggle to avoid it because our culture encourages, legitimizes, and glorifies it.  Plus, there is this disturbing part of us that finds delight and satisfaction in it.

But the Bible teaches that gossip is a sin.  One of the most enticing sins, in fact.  A deliciously juicy, crimson apple.  And we've all partaken of it because, frankly, it is so incredibly hard to resist indulging in. 

There is certainly nothing good that comes from gossip.
It is a reckless evil to all who say it, hear it, and to those of whom it is spoken about.

Below are six biblical truths about one who gossips:

ONE:  A gossiper ruins friendships.

"A gossip separates close friends."
Proverbs 16:28[b]

TWO:  A tale-bearer fuels a quarrel; stirring up more trouble.

"Without wood a fire goes out;
without a tale-bearer a quarrel dies down. 
As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire,
so is a quarrelsome person to kindling strife." 
Proverbs 26:20-21

THREE:  A whisperer cuts deep, wounding the heart.

"The words of a whisperer are like choice morsels;
they go down to the inmost parts."
Proverbs 26:22

FOUR:  A busybody cannot be trusted.

"A gossip betrays a confidence;
so avoid a man who talks too much." 
Proverbs 20:19

FIVEA muckraker is full of ungodliness.

"But avoid godless chatter,
because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly."
2 Timothy 2:16

SIX:  A scandalmonger gets himself into trouble.

"He who guards his mouth and tongue
keeps himself from trouble."
Proverbs 21:23

I don't want my children to poison relationships, be kindling to quarrels, nor to deeply hurt others?  
I don't want them to be untrustworthy, ungodly, nor troublesome individuals?

I trust you feel the same.

So what can we do?

ONE:  We can resist falling into gossip ourselves and set an example for our kids.

TWO:  We can teach our kids the six Biblical truths regarding the horrific consequences of gossip.

THREE:  Most importantly we can pray the words of Titus and Ephesians over them.

"Remind the people...
to slander no one,
to be peaceable and considerate,
and to show true humility toward all men."
Titus 3:2

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths,
but only what is helpful for building others up
according to their needs,
that it may benefit those who listen."
Ephesians 4:29

Let's pray!

Oh LORD, I cry out to You today and ask that You would open my children's eyes and ears to the reckless evil of gossip.  I pray they would train their mouths so as to not let any unwholesome talk come out.  I pray they would train their ears to avoid gossip. 
I pray they would decide to slander no one, no matter how enticing it may be to do so.  I pray they would be peaceable and considerate with their mouths.  I pray they would speak words that would benefit others and build them up.  I pray they would show true humility to all men by resisting the temptation to sin through gossip. 

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