By Lori Beard
Gossip… Definition…1. Casual unrestrained conversation about another person who is not there..conversation that is demeaning or slandering. 2. Idle talk. Well, boy, am I guilty of this. So many times in my life. And my idle talk has caused so much hurt. Gossip is a weapon of destruction. We don’t see it that way because we don’t see the souls of those we are destroying. We cannot see the deep wounds that our talk causes and many times we cannot see the horrid scars left behind. I am so thankful for grace that has forgiven me time and time again while it also works to change me. Why in the world do I ever gossip? I think the only reason that makes sense is that I love it. Have you ever gotten an adrenaline rush when you heard something that made you go “oh my?” Well, that is pretty much why we gossip because it fuels us. It makes us feel better about ourselves. But really holy people (like me and I suspect many of you) have learned to clothe gossip in robes of righteousness. We say things like this:
We need to pray for Miss Lori. She has been really struggling with meanness and I am so worried about her soul.
We really need to pray for our pastor. He has not been to visit the hospital in months. People have been complaining to me about him.
We need to pray for unity cause everybody is really upset over the worship (who is everybody anyway…like EVERYBODY?).
These are all forms of gossip. Come on if you are worried about my soul, then love me and come tell me I’m mean. Go to your pastor and ask him why he is not visiting. You might find out you actually don’t know as much as you thought. And if dozens of people are griping about worship, WHY ARE YOU LISTENING? Well I imagine for the same reasons I do – sinful love of gossip – without regard for the precious souls left behind in tatters. They are our sisters and brothers, our sons and daughters. I am going to keep praying for freedom from gossip. Freedom to look people in the eye knowing that I have not spoken ill of them and shamed God by calling it concern. I will keep begging for holiness in place of filthy rags. You can help me! Call me out when I talk about others or when you see me listening while others talk about others. The Bible uses strong language for gossips… Proverbs 10:18 uses fool; 16:28 uses dishonest whisperer; 6:6-19 says God hates the gossip; 20:19 calls them simple babblers; 11:13 says they reveal secrets. Ex. 24:1 calls them malicious witness. Psa. 34:13 says deceitful. James 1:26 says gossips are people with worthless religion. Wow! God forgive ME. I beg you to change ME. Thank God for grace that is sufficient for ME.
Still Learning. Never Done. Begging for grace from God.