Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The SIN of Gossip


Ephesians 4:29-30 Let not corrupt communication come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. (30) And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.


We can bring sorrow to the Holy Spirit by the way we live. Paul warns us against unwholesome language, bitterness, improper use of anger, harsh words, slander, and bad attitudes toward others. Instead of acting that way, we should be forgiving, just as God has forgiven us. Are you bringing sorrow or pleasing God with your attitudes and actions? Act in love toward your brothers and sisters in Christ, just as God acted in love by sending his Son to die for your sins.


Today, I want to share with you commentary from Rick Renner concerning Ephesians 4:29-30:

How does God feel about people who gossip? Ephesians 4:29 says, "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers." The following verse continues to say, "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God." The implication is that when "corrupt communication" comes out of a believer's mouth, it causes the Holy Spirit to be grieved.

You see, gossip is a sin that grieves the Holy Spirit. Did you notice that Paul calls it "corrupt communication"? This phrase comes from the Greek word phaulos, which refers to something that stinks or to something that is rotting, such as meat that is full of maggots. This kind of communication is dead, decaying, and it stinks. It is offensive to the Spirit of God, and it grieves Him.

Gossip is so destructive and offensive that Paul forbids gossip in Second Corinthians 12:20. In this verse, Paul says, "For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swelling, tumults." Do you see the word "whisperings"? This is the Greek word psithurimos - which means gossip!

To make sure we know how evil gossip is, Paul lists it side by side with several other horrible attitudes and actions. He places gossip right alongside with:


From the Greek word eris, which depicts a church divided by church politics. It could be translated as the word quarrels or wranglings.


From the Greek word zelos, which pictures a person so self-consumed that he fiercely fights for his own cause, not considering the needs or desires of others. It can be translated as the word jealousy.


From the Greek word thumos, portraying a person who suddenly flares up and loses his control of some kind of unresolved, deep-seated anger. This is a person who literally boils over with anger and blows up, erupting in an ugly outburst that negatively affects other people.


From the Greek word eritheia, depicting a selfish desire to promote one's own way even if it means splitting and dividing the church. This is a picture of people taking sides in the church and thus dividing, splitting, and splintering the church into opposing factions.


From the Greek word katalalia, meaning to talk down or to speak derogatorily about someone else. It can be translated as the word slander.


From the Greek word psithurismos, which expresses the idea of a gossiper. The reason they whisper is that they know this kind of talk is wrong and that they'd get in trouble for what they were saying; therefore, they whisper their tidbits of information to others in secret.

Swellings: From the Greek word phusiosis, which carries the idea of a person filled with pride. In fact, it can be translated to be puffed up. This is a person who is puffed up in pride about something that isn't even important; nevertheless, he has allowed this thing to delude him into a false sense of over- significance or of being better than others. This word could also be translated as the word arrogance.

Tumults: From the Greek word akatastasia, referring to anarchy, chaos, insubordination, or to some kind of attitude or action that creates upheaval, unrest, or instability. It describes the attitude or actions of a person who creates some type of disastrous disturbance.

I want you to notice that "gossip" is right smack dab in the middle of this list! What does this tell you about what God thinks of gossip and of those who are involved in the act of gossiping? Let's be sure we understand what the word "gossip" describes! It describes a person who habitually reveals personal or sensational facts, rumors, or reports of an intimate nature that are none of his business.

For instance, gossip would include:

 Talking about other people's business and things that do not concern you.

 Repeating what someone else said, even though you don't know whether or not it's true.

 Talking to others as if you were an authority about matters that are other people's business, when in reality you don't know what you are talking about.

In a certain sense, gossip is like a deadly poison. It hurts people; it kills relationships; and it destroys trust. In the workplace, "gossip" usually happens between two employees who have become friends and feel like they can truly "share" with each other. They are often people who have been offended or hurt by the one who is the subject of their gossip; therefore, every rumor they hear becomes a "choice morsel" to share with the other offended party. This is what Proverbs 18:8 (NIV) is talking about when it says, "The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man's inmost parts."

Gossip is usually based on hearsay; it is usually inaccurate; it creates suspicions; and it divides people. It is so evil that I absolutely forbid it in our ministry.

It is interesting to note that the Greek word for gossip means to whisper. This means that gossip almost always takes place in secret. Just think about it - where does gossip usually takes place? If you have engaged in gossip in the past, you probably listened to someone tell you information or hearsay about other people, which you then whispered to someone else:

 In the women's bathroom at the office.

 In your office when the doors were closed and no one was watching or listening.

 In the lunch-break room when it was only you and the person to whom you were talking.

 In a prayer meeting, where people often whisper about others under the camouflage of "prayer."

 In a corner where the boss, director, pastor, or subject of your gossip couldn't hear what you were saying.

You need to know that gossipers usually attract to each other like magnets. When they get together, they see things alike and therefore begin to think they are right. Thus, they form a little faction right inside the office or church, often concluding that they are doing God's business as they meet together to discuss all the problems going on in other people's lives, even though it isn't their business to discuss or solve these problems or to meddle in other people's affairs.

Since the word "gossip" really means to whisper, it would be good when you are about to tell something you've heard to first ask yourself: Would I say these things publicly? Would I say this in front of the person I am talking about? If your answer is no, you can conclude that you shouldn't say it privately either.

So I urge you not to allow the devil to snag you and drag you into the sin of gossip. James 3:8 tells us that the tongue is "an unruly evil, full of deadly poison." But you can refuse to be the source of gossip or to participate in it when it takes place. If you really love Jesus, why would you want to participate in something that will poison people's opinions and ultimately divide and hurt others? Think of it - if it were you whom people were talking about, wouldn't it be hurtful to you to discover that they were talking this way behind your back?

It's too hurtful to get into this business! If you have to whisper it, then you probably shouldn't be saying it at all. In fact, a good rule to live by is this: If you can't say it publicly, don't say it at all! Make the decision today to refrain from gossip and to stay away from those who practice it!


"Lord, I admit that I'm guilty of occasionally talking behind people's backs, and I'm wrong for doing it. I ask You to please forgive me for allowing the devil to use me in this way. I am asking You to help me keep a tight rein on my tongue and to refrain from gossiping about other people. When I find myself in a situation where the conversation turns to gossip, help me know how to graciously dismiss myself from the conversation so I can avoid participating in this sin and falling back into this trap. I repent for my activity in gossip, and I turn from it in Jesus' name! I pray this in Jesus' name!"

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Daily Bread


Luke 11:2-4 He said to them, "When you pray, say: "'Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. (3) Give us each day our daily bread. (4) Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.'"


Notice the order in this prayer. First, Jesus praised God; then he made his requests. Praising God first puts us in the right frame of mind to tell him about our needs. Too often our prayers are more like shopping lists than conversations. These verses focus on three aspects of prayer: its content (Luk_11:2-4), our persistence (Luke 11:5-10), and God's faithfulness (Luke 11:11-13).

God's provision is daily, not all at once. We cannot store it up and then cut off communication with God. And we dare not be self-satisfied. If you are running low on strength, ask yourself, How long have I been away from the Source?


Max Lucado says, "Worry is to joy what a vacuum cleaner is to dirt; you might as well attach your heart to a happiness-sucker and flip the switch." Jesus said, "Don't get worked up about… tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes." When it looks like things are falling apart, Paul reminds us, "Every detail in our lives… is worked into something good" (Romans 8:28 MSG). When it seems like the world's gone mad, don't forget God "existed before anything else,… and He holds all creation together" (Colossians 1:17 NLT). When worry whispers, "God doesn't know what you need," remember God promised to "take care of everything you need" (Philp 4:19).

Jesus taught us to pray, "Give us this day our daily bread." You won't get the wisdom or resources to handle tomorrow's problems till you need them. When we "go confidently to the throne… [we'll] find kindness, which will help us at the right time" (Hebrews 4:16).

Over a century ago Charles Spurgeon said: "Enough for today is all we can enjoy. We cannot eat, drink, or wear more than today's supply of food and clothing. The surplus gives us the care of storing it and the anxiety that someone might steal it. One staff aids a traveler; a bunch of staves is a heavy burden. Enough is as good as a feast, and more than gluttony can enjoy. Enough is all we should expect; a craving for more is ungratefulness. When our Father doesn't give you more, be content with your daily allowance."

Just for today, I'll enjoy each moment to the fullest and try not to tackle my whole life's problems at once. Just for today, I'll try to improve my mind by learning more than I know; I'll read God's Word faithfully for it's my source of wisdom and strength. I'll be particularly sensitive to those Scriptures that require personal obedience, corrective action, and greater commitment. Just for today, I'll be agreeable, try to look my best and make sure my words are "seasoned with grace." Just for today, I won't find fault or try to change or improve anyone - except myself. Just for today, I'll have a plan and a goal. I might not follow them exactly but I'll have them nonetheless. By doing that I'll save myself from two enemies - hurry and indecision! Just for today, I'll develop my character. I'll do someone a good turn and keep it secret; if anyone finds out it won't count. Just for today, I'll do something I don't naturally want to do, thereby train my spirit to rule my flesh and my will to rule my emotions. Just for today, I won't be afraid to love or to risk; I'll take steps of faith that stretch me beyond my present comfort level, try to enjoy all God's blessings, and believe that every seed I sow in His Kingdom will be multiplied back to me many times over. This is how I'll live - just for today!


"Lord, thank you for providing me with daily bread. You always take care of me. You always make "all things" beautiful in your time. Forgive me for doubting. I choose today to trust you. I give my needs to you, and thank you for Your provision. Your truly are Jehovah-Jireh, my provider. In Jesus' name, amen!"

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Today I WILL make a difference

This devotion is from Max Lucado's Upwords devotion. It ministered to me in such a way I wanted to share it with you guys:

Today I will make a difference. I will begin by controlling my thoughts. A person is the product of his thoughts. I want to be happy and hopeful. Therefore, I will have thoughts that are happy and hopeful. I refuse to be victimized by my circumstances. I will not let petty inconveniences such as stoplights, long lines, and traffic jams be my masters. I will avoid negativism and gossip. Optimism will be my companion, and victory will be my hallmark. Today I will make a difference.

I will be grateful for the twenty-four hours that are before me. Time is a precious commodity. I refuse to allow what little time I have to be contaminated by self-pity, anxiety, or boredom. I will face this day with the joy of a child and the courage of a giant. I will drink each minute as though it is my last. When tomorrow comes, today will be gone forever. While it is here, I will use it for loving and giving. Today I will make a difference.

I will not let past failures haunt me. Even though my life is scarred with mistakes, I refuse to rummage through my trash heap of failures. I will admit them. I will correct them. I will press on. Victoriously. No failure is fatal. It's OK to stumble… I will get up. It's OK to fail… I will rise again. Today I will make a difference.

I will spend time with those I love. My spouse, my children, my family. A man can own the world but be poor for the lack of love. A man can own nothing and yet be wealthy in relationships. Today I will spend at least five minutes with the significant people in my world. Five quality minutes of talking or hugging or thanking or listening. Five undiluted minutes with my mate, children, and friends.

Today I will make a difference. Blessings!