You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘gossip’ tag.


A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of friends. Proverbs 16:28 (NLT)

It can start harmlessly enough. A word of concern here. A sarcastic comment there. It can be couched in a spiritual sense as a prayer request. It can be intentional or unintentional. Regardless of intent or type, once planted the seed germinates. It finds new ears that will listen; fertile soil of discontent.

The ‘troublemaker’ of Proverbs 16:28 conjures up the word picture of a sower spreading his seed. Unlike farmers of today, the seed wasn’t planted in neat rows and evenly spaced. It was thrown, strewn across the ground in a somewhat haphazard manner. Some fell on hard ground and was became a hungry birds breakfast. Others landed in rocky or weed choked ground and was soon forgotten because it was overwhelmed by what was already there. But the seed that landed on ground willing to accept it found a home in which to grow.

Jesus talks about the ‘Sower and the seed’. Every sermon I’ve heard (or preached myself) on the topic teaches us the importance of being fertile soil for good seed. But what if the sower is sowing seed of discontent, gossip, anger or hate? The meaning of that story was the importance of being fertile ground for God’s word to make a fruitful difference in our lives.

Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. We can be fertile ground for the peace-breakers in our lives. Peace-breakers are those people who seem to be able to find something wrong with everyone and everything. They can label their words as spiritual concern, but they really destroy peace and relationships.

Jesus said: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Conflict in relationships is inevitable. We have different likes and dislikes; we see things from different perspectives; we have different backgrounds to base our feelings on. When conflict comes into your life it is important to handle it in a way that doesn’t destroy people, even if they have hurt you. Be a peace-maker, not a peace-breaker.

When you have a conflict with someone make sure that you deal with the person you are in conflict with. Don’t sow seeds of frustration over the incident with those around you. Even if you resolve that conflict, the seed sown in fertile soil will continue to grow.

When a sower of ‘discontent’ tosses seed your way be so full of the Holy Spirit that those words find no landing place. Don’t allow the peace-breaker to change your opinion of others.

Most of the conflict we have in the church is over trivial matters in regards to eternity. People argue over the ‘correct version’ of the Bible, or the ‘best music’ for worship and the list goes on and on. Jesus calls us to peace so that the world can know his peace through us.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, forgive us for the times we’ve acted as peace-breakers and not peace-makers. Forgive us for the times we’ve been fertile ground for seeds of discontent or for those times we’ve been ‘sowers’ of discontent. Help us show the world the peace you’ve promised us. Amen.


Now take seven bulls and seven male sheep, and go to my servant Job, and offer a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will listen to his prayer. Then I will not punish you for being foolish. You have not said what is right about me, as my servant Job did.” Job 42:8 (NCV)

One of the most powerful things we can do for ourselves is to forgive others.

Forgiveness doesn’t say the other person is deserving of forgiveness. Forgiveness doesn’t condone their actions. Forgiveness doesn’t mean in any way that the relationship can or will ever be the same.

Forgiveness brings freedom.

Forgiveness allows us to become instruments of grace.

Imagine the pain and agony Job had endured. He had lost his children. Nothing is more devastating to a parent than to lose a child. Job lost ten of them all in one tragic moment. He lost his fortune. While still grieving the loss of his children he was met with financial calamity. While his head was still spinning, his health was taken from him. Then, to add insult to injury he was visited by three friends who continually reminded Job that things like this only happen to sinful people. Job should repent. Job should admit he was nothing but a filthy rag. Job should have faith.

Ironically, that’s all Job did have by this point was his faith. Job didn’t understand why God was allowing all this to happen to him, but he never lost sight of the fact that His God would deliver him. He never lost his trust in this God who’d gone silent.

God humbled Job with a series of questions and Job bowed in worship and admiration of this God who’d been so absent during his struggles. God never explained why he allowed such tragedy, and Job never again asked the question we all ask: “Why?”

Perhaps one of the most stunning parts of the story happens after the dialog between Job and God. God turns to Job’s friends and demands they bring sacrifices for their actions. They had spoken ignorantly of God and sacrifice was required for forgiveness. But not just any sacrifice. The sacrifice had to be administered by Job.

Amazing. The very people who had accused Job wrongfully would now humble themselves before him (and God). Their forgiveness was dependent on Job’s offering up of the sacrifice. Can you imagine how hard it was for the victim and the aggressor to approach the altar together?

That’s the power of forgiveness. We may not be able to physically approach the altar of forgiveness with those who have wronged us, but we can do so in the spiritual sense. To experience the freedom Christ gave us through his death and resurrection we must forgive those who have willfully or ignorantly wronged us. This is impossible to do through human will. This kind of forgiveness can only happen through the power of the Holy Spirit of the Living God. This kind of forgiveness allows us to become instruments of grace.

PRAYER: Father God. I confess to you that there is a need for forgiveness in my life. I harbor hurts, grudges and bitterness. I nurse feelings of judgmentalism. I gossip. Like Job, I need your power to bring my enemy to the altar of your forgiveness so that I can be free. Amen


Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29

When my son was in High School he loved sports. His favorite sport was basketball. He started playing in 5th grade and looked forward to basketball season all year long. What he lacked in ability, he made up for in passion. The unfortunate thing in our society is that we place far more emphasis on ability and don’t recognize passion enough.

During his junior year he was fighting for the final spot on the varsity team. He talked with me the night before he was to play a one on one contest with another guy. My son said how every time he went up against this guy he ‘knew he could beat him’ but always seemed to find a way to lose. He was very nervous.

I’m by no means a perfect father or parent. I’ve made plenty of mistakes and overlooked many opportunities to mentor and guide my kids. I’ll admit that what I said next wasn’t thought out well, or planned. We were in the car, driving home in the dark.

“You know,” I said, “Whether you win or lose won’t affect who you are as a person. I love you for who you are, not for your ability. Give it your best shot, but don’t base your self-worth on the points you score or don’t score.”

My son told me that my words would give him even more incentive the next day. He entered the contest with renewed confidence in his ability. The nervousness was gone.

My son lost the contest that day and the chance at a position on varsity. But he won something far greater; he won the assurance that his worth wasn’t based on the scoreboard or the win/loss column. His worth was based on who he was as a person. My words gave him the confidence he needed to enter the battle and the assurance that win or lose, he was valued in the sight of his father.

The same is true for each of us. Society tells us value is measured by ability and success is measured by money, status and power. God’s kingdom tells us otherwise, and our responsibility as Christ-followers is to build value in a person even if their actions are contrary to our comfort level.

Paul reminds the Ephesian believers that every word that comes out of our mouths should have the purpose of building each other up. Anything less is contrary to God’s calling in our lives. At the beginning of this section in his letter, Paul admonishes his readers to ‘live worthy of the calling’ each of us has. Part of that calling is to build one another up by what we say.

Guard your words carefully because everything you say will either build someone up and draw them closer to Jesus, or tear them down and push them away from the only true source of forgiveness and grace. Criticism, sarcasm, angry outbursts, swearing and bullying (adults and children) have no place in the life of a believer and are contrary to our calling.

PRAYER: Father, forgive me for the times my words have attacked your loved ones. May the words of my mouth encourage others and draw them to you. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.


For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. Matthew 7:2 (NLT)

One of the men I admire most was my uncle Bernard. Uncle Bernie was a quiet man with a generous heart. In all the years I knew him I never once heard him raise his voice or say a negative word about anyone. He was soft-spoken, gentle at heart and generous. He didn’t have a large house although he had money, his home was modestly comfortable. Uncle Bernie died in the same way he lived, quietly falling asleep as he listened to his favorite baseball team on the radio.

Uncle Bernie has been gone a long time but his testimony lives on in my mind because he was probably the most non-judgmental man I know, next to Jesus. I don’t remember enough about Bernie to know what made him tick; what it was that made him so accepting of other people, but that part doesn’t really matter. What matters is that he was a man who knew Jesus and showed Jesus love in how he treated others.

Jesus taught us not to judge others. He showed us acceptance of other lifestyles when he reached out to the woman caught red-handed having sex with another woman’s husband by telling her she wasn’t condemned, even though she deserved death.

He showed how to accept people when he made a point to stop at a well so he could meet up with a woman who’d failed five times at marriage and finally decided to ‘shack up’ with man number six rather than go through the whole marriage/divorce cycle. She was so ashamed she went to the well when she ‘knew’ she’d be alone. But Jesus met her at her most lonely time in the loneliest place because he accepted her even though he couldn’t tolerate her lifestyle.

If Jesus were here today I think he’d visit people you and I avoid like the plague. The person living the gay lifestyle would find a friend in Jesus. The imposter who lives behind a disguise of religion while they battle with drugs, alcohol or pornography would feel his touch. The abusive father or stepmother, the guy with at tendency for road rage, the vindictive gossip. All can find acceptance and healing when they come to Jesus.

Jesus doesn’t ask us to accept those different than us, he requires it. Through the power of his Holy Spirit I can find the strength to accept those who make a mockery of my faith. Because of his nail scarred hands I can find acceptance and healing in the midst of my struggle with sin. I want to be like him. I want to show his love like my uncle Bernie did.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus. I see in scripture how you have reached to others. I ask that you would do a work in my soul. Forgive me and heal me of the struggles I’m enduring. Empower me to live for you and to reach out to those around me. Help me to accept those who mistreat me, drag your name through the mud and mock your name. I pray this in your name, Amen.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3,715 other followers

RSS Podcasts from Zion

  • You Can Trust the Bible
    From our series, 40 Days in the Word. Knowing ABOUT the Bible isn’t the same as making it the one and only authority in your life. Living the Bible is more important that telling others about the Bible.
  • RESET your life when you’ve been forgiven
    From our series “RESET Your Life. God knows we can never love him the way he loves us but calls us to follow him in spite of our weakness.
  • RESET Your Life When You Doubt
    From our series, “Reset your Life”. Jesus understands the struggle we have between head belief and heart belief.
  • RESET Your Life When all is Hopeless
    From our series “RESET Your Life.” Never give up hope. Jesus knows where you are and what your need is. Hopelessness; John 5:1-15;
  • Reset your Life When You’re Grieving
    From our series ‘Reset Your Life”. Sometimes RESET comes from outside sources. Jesus shows us the way through grief.

LinkedIn

Candle Lighter Award

Built With Grace

Twitter Updates

Archives

September 2019
S M T W T F S
« Aug    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930  
Follow Built with Grace on WordPress.com
%d bloggers like this: