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Editor’s journey


National Enquirer religion?

SPRINGFIELD, MO. –– At a restaurant recently, I overheard two men gossiping about another person. Subconsciously I tilted my head in their direction –– behaving more like a reporter from the National Enquirer than a minister. But the Holy Spirit spoke a word of conviction to my heart: What are you doing? At first I tried to rationalize my actions, saying, It’s no big deal –– everyone listens to gossip. What really matters is what we do with gossip after we hear it.

That sounded good for a few seconds, but I knew in my heart I had let the Lord down by entertaining gossip. Proverbs 16:28 came to mind: “A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends.”

For many, gossip is socially acceptable. But as followers of Jesus Christ, we live by a higher standard. Our behavior isn’t based on social norms or practices espoused by the National Enquirer. We base our actions on God’s Word and the life of Jesus Christ.

Would Jesus gossip? Would He lie? Would He act selfishly? No. But too often we allow behavior that is so unlike Jesus to creep into our lives:

• Criticizing people behind their backs
• Breaking promises
• Isolating ourselves from nonbelievers
• Fighting back when mistreated
• Being tightfisted
• Telling “white” lies
• Holding grudges against enemies
• Seeking recognition and lofty titles
• Neglecting God’s Word
• Failing to pray for the miraculous

With the help of the Holy Spirit, we must guard our hearts against gossip, grudges and greed. The world must see that we live by a higher standard. Otherwise our WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) bracelets are nothing more than false advertising and perhaps should be replaced by ones that read WWNED (What Would the National Enquirer Do?).

Hal Donaldson

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