Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Christian Gossipers: Religious Soap Opera Stars?

I was meditating on the following verse this morning:

“He who covers and forgives an offense seeks love, but he who repeats or harps on a matter separates even close friends.” (Proverbs 17:9; Amplified)

As I thought on this verse some more, it occurred to me that this is precisely why I struggle so much with gossipers (especially those disguised under the pseudo-Christian pretense of “We need to pray for so-and-so because …”). Who hasn’t heard that kind of “prayer request?” It seems to me that some of us need to be reminded that we can pray for people without having to know all the gory details from the mouth of a third party. After all, it’s not like we’re going to inform God of something that He doesn’t already know.

Could it be that the real reason we like to mention the details is because we like the gore and mud in the lives of others?  Are we into religious soap operas? Fact is, despite outer appearances, gossipers are really loveless soap opera enthusiasts who are ultimately bent on destroying relationships. God is not into soap operas!

Sound harsh? Maybe, but sometimes you have to tell it like it is and stop white-washing everything by being politically correct and accepting everything. Having said that, I am preaching to myself here too. I too have been guilty of this evil, and an evil it is.

When relationships are destroyed and people are hurt through our loveless acts, that comes from nowhere other than the devil’s den, and is therefore nothing less than evil. Our God is a God of love, and the church is primarily about love and relationships. Anything that snubs that can only be from the devil.

My challenge to my Christian brothers and sisters (and to myself) is to refuse to entertain any discussion about another person behind their back unless it is edifying, uplifting, praiseworthy, and done in genuine and unpretentious love. If someone (even if they call themselves a Christian) comes with a negative word about another brother or sister, refuse to listen unless that other person is first present to hear the “story” too. Anything less is gossip, and possibly has the devil as its father.

Something to think about.

Photo Credit: Anais Gomez-C, Flickr Creative Commons

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