[forthright] That Old Grape Vine of Gossip

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From: Forthright Magazine <ba@...>
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2004 14:00:41 -0600
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross


COLUMN: Hands-on Faith

That Old Grape Vine of Gossip
by Barry Newton

Admittedly, the tongue is difficult to control;
and we have all made mistakes in one way or
another. But like every form of sin, malicious
gossip is something the Lord takes very seriously.
Praise God for forgiveness. However, this does not
justify ignoring any problem which we might have
in this area; we must seek to change and conform
our lives to His will. God wants our tongues to be
tools in His service, not the enemy's.

Which of the following is not gossip:

Slandering someone

Spreading a lie about someone

Telling the truth about someone, so that the
person will be hurt by what you say.

As you guessed it, all of these constitute gossip.
Just because something is true (or you think it is
true) does not make it OK to share with others.
What is the motive for sharing something? Does it
conform to edifying, building up or even training
someone how they ought to go? Or does the motive
arise out of something much darker? Might a juicy
piece of information be shared to show that I am
in the know? As people dedicated to growing more
and more into the image of Christ, what can we do?

1) Do not listen to gossip. We can let a person
know that we do not want to know the inside dirty
scoop on others. We enable others to sin, if we
passively allow others to fill us with trash.

2) Deliberately pray for your enemies. Instead of
spreading the news about why they are so terrible,
pray for spiritual growth in their actions and
behavior.

3) Focus on doing good towards and blessing that
person you might be tempted to slander. If our
energy is focusing on loving others, then there is
less room available for evil motives to sneak in.

4) We can pray for ourselves and one another that
we might resist temptation.

May we not sin through those words we choose to
say! May our LORD use our words as choice tools in
His service.

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