Gossip. An ambiguous word with wobbly handles. They are hard to grasp onto until it lands in your lap. And when I say this, I mean that you are the subject of it and not the perpetrator… this time. Then suddenly you don’t need to hear a sermon or read an essay on it: you know- that you know- that you know… that it hurts.
It Aches. It Marinates. Then it Chafes. The remnants try to find a landing strip to grow their festering vines of bitterness, unless you continually weed the garden of your heart.
It distresses in a different way than face to face confrontation. It most certainly isn't the sweet kiss of a loving, face-to-face rebuke with all the beauty of potential reconciliation.
Gossip denies us the dignity to be heard. It blots out all ability to apologize for the wrong or perceived offense. It immobilizes love. It destroys the trust beds that relationships grow in.
Rumor-mongering. It shrouds itself in a thin, religious film. It comes with disclaimers like; “I am concerned …” or “We need to pray about …” ----Well, aren't we nice? ---
We can dress it up anyway we want to, but it’s wrong… and we know it. We feel it just before the words escape our mouths, unless we've numbed ourselves to the still, small whisper of our Holy Spirit induced conscience.
In a lot of cases I believe we are receiving AND believing the flaming darts of accusation that enemy hurls at us about one another. Many times we are “picking up” on invisible beliefs that the enemy has tried to weave around a person from their childhood or before and in turn they in regards to you. Typically the person has agreed with the lies over their lives and has had multiple experiences that convinced them that, “yes, this is true about me” before they landed on the doorstep of your life.
Gossip is hated by the Father because we are adding our words, which have the power of life and death, to the enemy’s words. He, the father of lies, gets the added boost of our authority, which binds and looses on heaven and earth. We’re a lot more powerful than we believe, friends.
He wins a small victory every time we join our words with his because we've muddied the atmosphere around that person. The enemy is called the prince and power of the air, (Ephesians 2:2) which is translated, atmosphere) for a reason. We've agreed that there is another banner besides love written over one another. (Song of Songs 2:4)
As a society we are so immersed in being “nice” that we have forgotten the biblical mandate to seek out a face to face chat (Matthew 18:15) with the object of our offense, a person made in God’s own image. If that doesn't go well, then we take another with us who can be impartial and try to work it out again. It’s the opposite of accusation! Its goal is reconciliation. -- (Note: Often times, I find that I am able to take the majority of things to the Father and hear truth and/or forgive in my heart quickly and not keep a record of wrongs. Sometimes, I realize I was being easily offended or just being a jerk myself.)
If we don’t work out our disagreements and misunderstandings with one another we are left with few choices. The easy path quickly becomes available; that of filling another’s ears with the tasty morsel that is sweet in their ears and sour in their belly. We've tried or succeeded in winning another to "our ranks."
That’s the opposite of nice, my friends.
Here’s some food for thought: "I resolve to speak ill of no man whatever, not even in a matter of truth but rather by some means excuse the faults I hear charged upon others, and upon proper occasions speak all the good I know of everybody." ~ Ben Franklin