Ending Gossip in Our Life-follow up to, “Not Sometimes, But Always”, May 16, 2017.
Spreading rumors about other people exposes little about their true nature but reveals quite a lot about the speaker’s own character. Such behavior shows a willingness to sin against the Lord by causing harm to someone else. Until a gossiping believer confronts his sin, he can’t progress toward becoming the person God wants him to be.
Confession is the first step in dealing with sinful speech. This should be followed by repentance-the pledge to turn away from opportunities to talk about others. A useful scripture for a redeemed gossip to pray daily is Psalm 141:3: “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips.”
Next, be on guard against temptation. Believers have a responsibility to set themselves apart from gossip in order to keep their thoughts and words pleasing to God. Being in the presence of one who spreads stories can tempt us to participate. In a situation where rumors are being shared, the best course of action is to speak out against the practice and then leave.
Finally, instead of talking about someone, it’s wise to pray for that person. Getting into this habit will help train the mind to replace sinful patterns with God-pleasing ways. The Bible teaches us to encourage and comfort each other, and prayer is a good way to obey that instruction 1 Thess. 5:11, 14).
A gossiping Christian dishonors God’s name-and his own. Instead of using words that disparage and injure, choose to speak well of everyone. In so doing, you will bring glory to the Lord.
Commentary from the In Touch Devotional by Charles Stanley, May 9, 2017.
Photo credit: T. Link