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
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
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
Isolating ourselves from nonbelievers
Fighting back when mistreated
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
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