Keep It Close to the Vest
Verse 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
We continue looking at the various ways we should be loving each other in the Church. Today we look at one of the touchiest topics and one of the reasons the world doesn’t see us as any different as them.
Gossip. A sin that has been said is the pet sin of the church. A sin that is often allowed and even participated in, even in the building of the church. Sometimes we use the language of making it a prayer concern but the truth is we just want others to know what we know about something. Sadly this sin is one of the greatest stumbling blocks in the church. It causes various issues that don’t even get addressed, like the fact that trust is broken and that people get hurt.
One of the ways the Church is hurt by this sin is the way it breaks down communication. Members don’t feel as safe sharing their legitimate hurts, pains and struggles because they don’t want them blabbed to everyone that will listen. This means that the Church is unable to minister to each other as Christ commanded us to because we won’t know what people are truly dealing with in their lives.
The Church should be the one place that it is safe to share the sins we are struggling with, not for judgment but for encouragement to live righteously. When the Church is living as it should, the needs of others should be freely given and taken. A lack of discretion is an issue that arises just as often in a Church, as is does in the world. Just because we know something about someone doesn’t mean it should be shared freely. Just as we would hope that others would not be sharing our personal problems to all they know. But this is not to say that we shouldn’t be sharing our joys and concerns with each other.
We don’t tend to share our joys and pains with those we aren’t close to and therein lies the problem with a Church that is not living a life of love with each other. The Church needs to again be a place where troubles are shared with no concern of it leaving the conversation it is shared in. This is one of the greatest ways we can show love to our fellow believers. Proverbs 11:13 is a good verse to memorize; “A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.”
Making It Personal
Are you known as a source of gossip? Do you like it when others gossip to you? How can you remember to keep from speaking something that has been shared with you?
Making It Personal Kids
Is it good to talk about other people? What should you do if someone starts telling you about someone else that they shouldn’t be telling you? Do you ever talk about other people in ways that you shouldn’t?
Father, this is a way we fail often. Please, Spirit, convict our hearts before the words of gossip start spilling from our lips. Bring us a great hate for this sin that breaks the bonds of Your people. In Jesus’ name, amen.