Killing Gossip - The Character of a Gossip
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A perverse man spreads strife, And a slanderer separates intimate friends. Proverbs 16:28 We've all heard or said the statement, "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me." Most of us, however, have lived long enough to realize that this isn't completely true. While sticks and stones do cause physical harm, words can be just as, if not more devastating to our heart and mind. Today as we look at the character of a gossip we would do well to remember that a gossips' arsenal consists solely of words. But with those weapons they have the power as we just read to destroy even intimate friendships. You wanna talk about hurt, if you've ever had a friendship that has been severed because of gossip you know sticks and stones and words all hurt badly. This is why the Bible says that death and life are in the power of the tongue. (Proverbs 18:21) So what does the Bible say about the character of a gossip and what can we do about it? According to proverbs 16:28 a gossip is a perverse person that stirs up conflict. Proverbs 11:13 says that a gossip betrays a confidence. And lastly the apostle Paul reveals that gossip along with slander, selfish ambition, arrogance and disorder are all things that are not to be found among followers of Christ. (2 Cor. 12:20) According to these passages we see that the character of a gossip is perverse, unloving and un-Christlike. Perverse because they care little to nothing about the consequences of their actions, unloving because they refuse to hold things in confidence and unlike Christ because they live according to the flesh and not the Spirit. The scripture however, tells us clearly what we're to do concerning these people. After the 1st steps of gentle rebuke (Galatians 6:1) and/or church discipline (Matthew 18:15-17) if they refuse to listen we are to have nothing to do with such a person. (Matthew 18:17, Titus 3:10) This may seem very hard for many to process in light of what it means to love someone however love also does not celebrate in unrighteousness. One of the only ways to get away from the gossip is to get away from the gossip. Let me leave you with this. Please try to remember these words if you ever feel tempted to gossip youself: "the reputations of the Lord's people should be very precious in our sight, and we should regard it as shame to help the devil dishonor the Church and the name of the Lord." - Charles Spurgeon (famed 19th century preacher)