TODAY'S WORD FOR Friday, January 26, 2018:
A rumor; revealing personal or sensational facts about others; trifling talk about other people; an idle talker; discussing other people’s affairs.
A man who bears false witness against his neighbor is like a club, a sword, and an arrow. Proverbs 25:18
A perverse man stirs up dissension and a gossip separates close friends. Proverbs 16:28.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
Gossip in action is the act of sharing with another person information about a third person that is most often just rumor. If it is not true it is at least stretching the truth. Gossip is not complimentary to the third party and is most often very hurtful.
Our sinful nature causes us to relish juicy tidbits of gossip and desire to spread it. As gossip is spread from one person to another person it can become so embellished that it is no way near what was said originally. The workplace is the most prevalent place for gossip. A recent poll tells us that the average employee gossips 65 hours a year -- over one hour each week.
Gossip is not only a problem for adults but also among children, especially teenagers. Gossip spreads very fast on a school campus and can do destructive and hurtful damage to those who are the subjects of the gossip. Many teens have low self-esteem so they grab on to any tidbit of gossip to make themselves feel they are better than others. They find rumors and hearsay tantalizing. They love to spread the rumors they hear because it makes them feel like insiders.
There is no place for gossip in the life of a believer in Jesus Christ. God speaks out strongly against it. In Exodus 20:16, one of the Ten Commandments that God gave to Moses reads: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” False witnessing is lying and God commands us not to lie. In Exodus 23:1 God says, “Do not spread false reports.” Notice that in these two verses God speaks in the form of a command not a mere suggestion.
Proverbs 25:18 (above) lets us know that spreading false witness can become vicious and is like using a club, a sword or a sharp arrow on a person.
Most people would never hurt someone by using a weapon but they will spread hurtful gossip without hesitation and God tells us that this is as bad as using a weapon. In the second verse we have put above, we are warned that gossip stirs up dissension and separates close friends.
If you choose to love others and be concerned about others you will live in a gossip free zone. You can never justify gossip. It is better to pray for someone, and if you are praying you will find it difficult to gossip about them.
Our memory verse for this week is found in John 16:24.
Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
Forgive me for the times I have spoken carelessly about others to make myself look better. Help me to think before I speak and to show a Christ-like love to all by speaking kindly about them. Teach me to be loving in my words and to shun gossip.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution and Ministry Director for World Bible Society, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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