Text: 3 John 1:9-10
“You shall not circulate a false report. Do not put your hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.” Exodus 23:1 NKJV
Gossip is a hard nut to crack because it is hard to resist and to recognize. Most times, we don’t even know when we start the gossip. Due to our sinful nature, gossip comes naturally to all of us and we do it even without thinking. It slips into our conversation and it continues to drop its sweetness in our taste bud. We enjoy it until we become engulfed and possessed by it.
The church of God, including her leadership is not spared from the evil. Apostle John spoke of some who try to gain popularity by running others down through gossip, of which he rebuked Diotrephes for this.
“So if I come, I will remind him of how he has been attacking us with gossip….” 3 John 1:10 CEV
“When I come, then, I will bring up everything he has done: the terrible things he says about us and the lies he tells..!”
3 John 1:10 GNT.
You see, gossip, slanders and lies are strangely in the church.
The internet and the social media have not helped in anyway. Unfortunately, many believers still fall into this trap, believing and subscribing to anything they see on the internet. We have, ignorantly, yielded ourselves as instruments in the devil’s hand to plant evil seeds.
Now, how do you know when your conversation about others has become gossip? These questions will help you to know. Did you confirm the story from the person concerned or from a guaranteed source? There is always the other side of every story (Prov 18:13). Is it your responsibility to tell the story? You may be igniting the fire and causing more damage by sharing it (Prov 26:20). Does the person who shared it with you have such responsibility or just meddling in others’ affairs? (Prov 26:17). Is it a bad news? We are called to spread good news and not bad news (Exo 23:1). Gossip and slander are anti-gospel. Are you motivated by love or hatred? Ask yourself if you will be happy to have someone do such to you (1 Cor 16:14).
Friends, if you are born again, you have God’s ability to stop this work of the flesh. Make it a habit of shutting down conversations that aim at tearing others down. And remember that those who gossip about others with you will more likely gossip about you to others. Be godly and wise!
1. Father, please, help me to always recognize when my conversation is going into gossip and to quit in Jesus name.
2. Father, help me to always remember to hear the other side of a story before commenting or sharing it in Jesus name.
1. I shut down conversations that tear other people down, so I don’t get tempted to join.
2. I am not a fool because I confirm stories told me about others from the person concerned or from an authentic source before I make any comment.