Below is a little tale about "The Church Gossip". It was sent to me in an email. Before I get to the email, let me tell how church gossip can destroy lives. This email had me thinking of all the gossip that I have heard in the past and what the scriptures tell us to do about it.
Gossip can and will destroy people! I have seen this in my own church on many occasions. If we are saying things that are not building people up, then we are tearing them down.
What about the person that has gossiped about you? Do you have the right to turn around and gossip about them to your friends because they have gossiped about you? NO!!!! You don't!
I even heard of a trained Christian Councelor, after meeting with someone that came to him. Go to a person that this councilee brought up in their meeting and told the person that this person came to him and what the person said. (How this person gossiped about him and how others were gossiping about him) I pray this person sees his sin, repents and turns from this evil. The other person thought that this behavior was o.k. I did council this person to go back and confront this sin. I don't think I will be going to this person for counceling anytime soon. Who knows who they will tell that I have been to see them. If I am going to go to someone for counciling, I want to make sure they can keep things to themselves. I promise if they tell you about someone else, they are telling someone else about you. (Again, this person doesn't attend my church)
How long will people let this evil live?
Another thing that people don't understand is how clever people can be when they are gossiping. A person came to me about a letter that was written about them. This letter was placed on the car of a young lady concerning this other person (The two people involved in this no longer attend my church) I don't know what was said in this letter, just what this person shared with me. For starters, if a person comes to you with gossip about another person, don't go to that person and share what was said. Why tear a person down in this way? It sounds to me like someone was jealous of the two of them spending time together or something. I really didn't know either one of the people very well so I don't know what there relationship was at that point. The funny thing is the two of them spent a lot of time gossiping about people in our church that they thought might have written this letter. (This letter was placed on a young ladies car) I couldn't even believe some of the people they accused of writing this letter. They tore down innocent peoples reputation! I told this person to get the letter so innocent people were not gossiped about anymore. The other person would not provide the letter to this person. If this person really cared about this man as she said she did, would she really tell him of the things that were said about him? or did she do it so she looked like she was the victim? and all the other ladies that they gossiped about were evil. Why would she not go to an Elder or Pastor regarding this? How many other people did these people share this with? The people they were gossiping about could not even prove they were innocent or defend themselves.
The person came to me with this so I told him this was just another form of gossip. I do pray that these two people will repent and turn from this sin.
I believe the Bible is clear on this. I have spent sometime this morning looking up and studying scripture.
Gossip destroys relationships, friendships and reputations.
I tell my children if you have nothing good to say about someone, just keep your mouth closed. We are not always going to get along with others; some people will rub us the wrong way. This doesn't give us a right to gossip about them.
The Christian who gossips doesn't really care about others, especially the ones they're gossiping about. They really care more about themselves. They just want to have juicy information to attract others to themselves. The apostle Paul said in Philippians 2:3, "Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteems others better than himself. 4, Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others."
1Corinthians 13:5 "Love...thinks no evil..."
Paul also said in Romans15:2, "Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification." Only words of edification, building up should come out of your mouth as Paul also teaches in Ephesians 4:29, " Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers."
Only Good words!
Only Encouraging words!
NO tearing down words!
I have even heard these words from people. "If they mess with you they mess with me". I have heard other words that are similar to these. "When people say things about you I take them personal because I care about you" Sure, it sounds good to the one that has been gossiped about. It's flattering to hear something like this but are theses really Godly statements? I think not!
Only Good words!
Only Encouraging words!
NO tearing down words!
What about the friend that has heard gossip about you and comes and tells you all about it. They say they tell you so you know what is being said about you, because they care deeply for you. They tell you because they want your attention. They want you to think they are standing up for you, they are tearing you down. Stop listening to this evil!
A word to those that listen to gossip:
Proverbs 17:4, A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue.
If someone comes to you with gossip - Don't listen! If they blurt something out about others, tell them that they need to GO and talk with the person that they seem to be offended by. Tell them you'll give them a few days or a week to reconcile with this brother or sister in Christ, and that you'll be checking up on their progress of reconciling with the person they're gossiping about. This method will normally stop people from coming to you with gossip.
Proverbs 10:19 says, "When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise."
Plain and simply, the person who's always JUST TALKING TO TALK, will eventually fall into many sins of the tongue.
Psalm 34:13, Keep your tongue from evil, And your lips from speaking deceit.
The word "keep" in the Hebrew has the sense of watching and guarding. You've heard the expression, "Watch your tongue." That's exactly what we must do. Guard what comes out. God has given us two lips and two sets of teeth to guard our speech. Don't be involved in the Devil's business of destroying the testimonies of the Saints. Do speak the truth in love, Only to the one that you're concerned about. If you've struggled with Gossip it's time to repent and develop godly speech patterns that build others up.
The Church Gossip
>Mildred, the church gossip, and self-appointed monitor of the church's morals,
kept sticking her nose into other people's business. Several members did not
approve of her extra curricular activities, but feared her enough to maintain
>She made a mistake, however, when she accused George, a new member, of being an
alcoholic after she saw his old pickup parked in front of the town's only bar
She emphatically told George (and several others) that
everyone seeing it there would know what he was doing. George, a man of few
words, stared at her for a moment and just turned and walked away. He didn't
explain, defend, or deny. He said nothing.
>Later that evening, George quietly parked his pickup in front of Mildred's house...walked home...and left it there all night.
>You gotta love George!
What do we do if our brother sins? These verse are very plan on how to handle sin. I'm saying a brother or sister in the Lord is going to take being confronted well. We do have Scripture as to how we are to handle this situation.
Matthew 18:15, "Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother."
Luke 6:41 & 42, "And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,' when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother's eye."
James 3:2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.
James is not saying that this man is sinless, but rather that he is spiritualy mature. The spiritually mature believer has control of his/her tongue. It does not control them, they control it.
James says that a mature believer can control the tongue. So what does he mean in v. 5-8?
5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! 6, And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
One little match can burn down a whole forest. One little tongue can cause so much destruction. James is illustrating for us how destructive the uncontrolled tongue can be. Gossip and Slander is SO damaging within relationships. The person who gossips really does not care about others. In fact, the gossiper is prideful,wanting to have juicy information to share in order to get others to listen to them. People caught up in the sin of Gossip need to understand that James says that the tongue is "a world of iniquity."
No Christian should have the characteristics of the wicked's tongue. But sadly, some do. Christians need to realize just how much God hates the sins of the tongue:
Prov. 6:16, These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
Lying is listed amoung the most vile of sins. Gossip can be a form of lying and God HATES it. Christian, if you struggle with Gossip - repent of this sin