Colossians

Not Sometimes, But Always

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God hates gossip.  He wants our speech to be pleasing to Him-and He certainly does not consider idle talk or mean-spirited words pleasant (Col. 3:8).  Sadly, gossip is practiced so freely that even some believers participate and try to justify their chatter.  But hearsay has no place in a Christian’s life.

Romans 1 contains one of the Bible’s lists of sins.  The book’s author-the apostle Paul-is reminding believers that God has revealed Himself to all mankind.  Those who reject Him and chase after idols are turned over to their evil worship and the immoral practices that go with serving self (vv. 24-25).  Gossip appears in the middle of the list; God despises it because malicious talk destroys lives whether the stories are true or false.  The person who is targeted by the rumor often loses the respect of those who listen to it.  Hurt feelings may not be the only negative effect; a job or relationship could be lost as well.

Those spreading tales also face destructive consequences.  People who refuse to control the tongue reveal evil motives or, at the very least, a lack of discipline.  As a result, believers and unbelievers alike will often avoid such untrustworthy individuals.  For a Christian who spreads rumors, there’s potential for even worse damage.  Not only can the credibility of one’s witness be compromised, but fellowship with the Lord might also be harmed-animosity toward another person and intimacy with God can’t coexist in the same heart.

Gossip achieves no good in anyone’s life, which is why the Lord warns against it.  Instead, our words should build up, comfort, and encourage others.

Commentary from Charles Stanley’s In Touch Devotional, May 8, 2017.

Hope

Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering,
for He who promised is faithful.
Hebrews 10:23

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He is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn over all creation;
because by Him everything was created,
in heaven and on earth,
the visible and the invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-
all things have been created
through Him and for Him.
He is before all things, and by Him all things hold together.
He is also the head of the body,
the church;
He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead,
so that He might come to have 
first place in everything.
For God was pleased [to have]
all His fullness dwell in Him,
and through Him to reconcile everything to Himself
by making peace through the blood of His cross-
whether things on earth or things in heaven.
And you were once alienated and hostile in mind because of your evil actions.  
But now He has reconciled you by His physical body
through His death, 
to present you holy, faultless, and blameless before Him-
if indeed you remain grounded and steadfast
in the faith,
and are not shifted away from the hope of the gospel that you heard.
[This gospel] has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven,
and I, Paul, have become a minister of it.
Colossians 1:15-23