Verse of the Day

My Musings, Observations, etc.


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January 22, 2011
Is everything okay? Is something bothering you? I would love to share your burden.
The gossip is cunning and sly much like a fox. She is constantly looking for ways to collect information. She wants to share your burden - she wants to share it with the world. As a sin, gossip is a dangerous one. Gossip is one of Satan’s best tools. If you have a church that is genuinely on fire for God, how else could Satan effectively destroy the church from the inside out? Like Satan himself, a gossip is subtle, sly, ambiguous and bent toward the destruction of another. Gossip is often concealed behind the mask of “concern” for someone else. Listening to gossip is far more palatable if you are sharing in someone’s concern for another. A conversation may begin with one person saying, “I really hate to bring this up, but I am worried about…” Perhaps the gossip will turn to a confidant saying, “I just don’t know who else I can talk to about this…” If you are a gossip, you can always talk to the Lord about it. After all, the Lord is the one who can ultimately fix the problem. If you are prayed up, you could even consider going directly to the person you are concerned about! Perhaps your concern will be the motivation they need to fix the problem (if there is one at all). Romans chapter one shows us some very dire consequences for certain actions. Many people point to Romans 1 as one illustration of what the Lord thinks of the lifestyle sodomy (homosexuality). Yes, the Lord does take a hard line against the lifestyle of sodomy, but, sodomy is not the only sin listed in Romans 1. The Lord’s view on these sins is dire - the wrath of God is revealed. It is never good to be the object of the wrath of God!
Rom 1:18-19 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; (19) Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
This passage is “revealed” to those who “hold the truth in unrighteousness.” In other words, this passage would seem to have an application for those who know the Word of God. Perhaps this could apply to someone who regularly sits in a church and hears preaching from the Word of God. Perhaps it is someone who knows enough about the Bible to put on a good show, but not really know what it means to be a Christian. In any case, this passage is clear: The wrath of the Lord may be poured out against these people at any time.
Rom 1:28-31 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; (29) Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, (30) Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, (31) Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
The Lord lists a number of things in this list, but we will only deal with one aspect: gossip. You may think that gossip is not in this list, but it is! Did you see it? The gossip is in the covetous one, the malicious one, the envious one, the deceitful one, the whisperer, the backbiter, the proud and the boastful. These attributes are all attributes of the reprobate mind. Anyone in their right mind knows the lifestyle of sodomy is an abomination but we are not so quick to realize that there is another list of abominable actions:
Pr 6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: (17) A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, (18) An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, (19) A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
In this passage in Proverbs, we see that it is an abomination to speak lies and sow discord among the brethren. We can immediately see the gossip there. But as we look at the list in Romans 1:28, the Lord lists covetousness, maliciousness, envy, deceit, malignity, whisperers and backbiters. Do those sound familiar when you think of a gossip? All of these are traits of a gossip! Let’s look at them each individually and how they apply to the gossip. The first in this list is covetousness. The gossip would likely deny all of these traits if she were confronted about the sin of being a gossip, but she would certainly deny being covetous. After all, if she is degrading someone in gossip, the trait she is degrading or making fun of is something she would not want, right? Ah, that is one of the keys. Often, the gossip will make fun or make degrading remarks about someone if they have something she wants. A gossip might say, “Just look at that new Coach purse. I would never carry something like that.” When she says this, she is really jealous and trying to look as though she does not care. She is coveting what the other person has and out of her pride, she is trying to make it look like she does not care. Of course, envy, appearing a little later in the list, walks hand in hand with covetousness. Jealousy is a dangerous emotion that must be removed from the heart of the believer. This ties in directly with the list of abominations the Lord listed in Proverbs 6! The Lord literally hates a proud look! Another aspect of her pride in gossip is her desire to be popular. She wants the attention of other people, other gossips, who are looking for the dirt! In order to be popular she has to spread the dirt, or gossip, around, but she also has to accumulate the dirt. In her slyness, she may come to people seeming concerned, asking, “Are you ok? Is everything alright?” seeking those nuggets to build upon. In her false concern, she reveals her true colors. If she is concerned about someone, wouldn’t it be best to pray about it? Malice and malignity are two more aspects of the gossip. As the gossip is jealous of what another person has, the gossip’s envy turns to malice. Malice is defined in Webster’s 1828 Dictionary as Extreme enmity of heart, or malevolence; a disposition to injure others without cause, from mere personal gratification or from a spirit of revenge; unprovoked malignity or spite. Consider some of those: enmity of heart, a disposition to injure others without cause for mere personal gratification or spite. Here is another aspect of the gossip’s heart that is revealed by Scripture. A gossip has a desire to injure someone's testimony out of spite, for personal gratification or for no cause at all! When compared to Proverbs 6, this is the “heart that deviseth wicked imaginations,” and the “feet that be swift in running to mischief.” Again, it is a sin that the Lord absolutely hates! The gossip is deceitful, in other words, the gossip is a liar. Perhaps she will take a small nugget of truth and add to it or twist it in such a way that the truth could not be found with a search warrant. Or, a gossip may make up the facts all together. So, if the gossip is perfectly willing to lie in the form of gossip, she has proven she cannot be trusted in other things. After all, she is deceitful, she is a liar! If the gossip is deceitful, and a liar, we see yet another abomination from Proverbs six – a lying tongue! Is there anything that needs to be said in a whisper? Gossip flourishes on secrecy and rides on the wheels of a whisper. A gossip is cowardly. If she hears of a problem, she does not consider going to the source of a potential problem. Instead, the gossip will work in the shadows. Finally, from Romans 1, we see that the gossip is a backbiter, or one who slanders, falsely accuses or speaks ill of the absent. The gossip does not have the courage to confront someone to their face. The gossip can only speak of another behind their back. True, the gossip is a coward, but the gossip is likely only afraid of the truth.
Pr 26:20 Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.
Where there is a talebearer, or gossip, there is strife. We have already looked at the traits and some of the goals of the gossip. Another goal of the gossip is strife. Yes, the gossip is interested in building herself up, in making herself look better, but one of her methods for doing this is not by making herself better, but by making others look worse. The strife she causes is destructive and when the gossip is silenced, the strife ceases. All of this is a sad commentary on the gossip. But the fruits of the gossip may be even sadder. The gossip causes several things to happen.
1Ti 3:8-11 ¶ Likewise must the deacons be grave, not double tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; (9) Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. (10) And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. (11) Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.
First, we see that the ministry of a gossip is limited. If the gossip is a man, then he would be disqualified from becoming a deacon. If the gossip is a woman, her actions would disqualify her husband from becoming a deacon as well.
Ps 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me
Next, we see that the gossip, with their sin or inequity, in their hearts will have their prayers blocked. The Lord simply will not hear them!
Pr 21:23 Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.
The gossip will face troubles in their heart.
Pr 6:12 A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth. (13) He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers; (14) Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord. (15) Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy.
In fact, the gossip, the person who sows discord in the body of Christ, can expect sudden calamity or destruction. This could be the most frightening aspect of all. To think that a few idle words could bring the judgment hand of God in to someone’s life in the form of sudden destruction.
Rom 1:28-31 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; (29) Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, (30) Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, (31) Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: (32) Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
Perhaps the saddest part is that the gossip has pleasure in their sin even when they know the penalty of their sin!
Mt 12:36-37 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. (37) For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
Jesus gave us a firm warning: we will give an account for every idle word. Will that be a time of pleasure for you or a time of pain?


Kristi said...

Thank you so much for this. The Lord has really opened my eyes. I see just how horrible I have been. I also see his horribly I have treated some people. I know the Lord will forgive me. I hope the people I have hurt will forgive me also.

Randy Ross said...

Hi Kristi, I am glad this was a help to you.