The moment somebody begins to gossip stop them and ask, “Why do I need to know this? Have you talked to the person you’re talking about?” Wise up; people who gossip can’t be trusted! The Bible says that when you listen to gossip you are a troublemaker: “Troublemakers listen to troublemakers.” And Jude adds: “These are the people who divide you, people whose thoughts are only of this world” (Jude v.19 NCV). Those are serious charges. And the Internet has only made the problem worse because now you can spread gossip faster and wider, and remain anonymous while you are doing it. Paul speaks about those who “devour one another…[and your whole fellowship]” (Gal 5:15 AMP). He says they should be avoided and disciplined. When was the last time you saw that happen in church? Solomon said, “A gossip reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with a babbler” (Pr 20:19 NRS). In other words, “keep clear of them.” The quickest way to end gossip is to confront those who are spreading it. The church is not a “tell all” television show where we expose people and hang out their dirty linen for all the world to see. Quite the opposite: “Fire goes out for lack of fuel, and tensions disappear when gossip stops” (Pr 26:20 TLB). Jesus taught us how to deal with personal difficulties when they arise: (1) “Work it out between the two of you.” (2) “If he (she) won’t listen, take one or two others along.” (3) “If he (she) still won’t listen, tell the church [leadership]” (Mt 18:15-17 TM). That’s Christ’s way, and it must be our way too.
Published on Friday, January 6, 2012 @ 6:40 AM CDT