he stopped coming to Sunday School? she quit working in the nursery? they are moving their membership? they removed their kids from youth activities? she wants nothing to do with the church anymore? Let me tell ya…
There’s a bevy of reasons why people do what they do. Legitimate reasons. And yes, some folk use anything as an excuse to do nothing. However, many come to churches today and see a white-washed extension of the world they want to escape. When people come to church, most seek a place of hope, of love, of kindness. They do not want a place filled with division, sniping, and whispers. They have plenty of people in their lives who pretend to care, who are judgmental and condemning. They need sincerity, acceptance and genuine love. Instead of Light, they see shadows of God’s love. The psalmist understood this all too well when he said:
“They visit me as if they were my friends, but all the while they gather gossip,and when they leave, they spread it everywhere.” Psalm 41:6
Ever had that happen to you? Ever share your heartache, your burden, your failings with another in confidence, only to have them spread it all around?
It’s a sad thing when Christians carry tales and negativity. A faithful disciple of Jesus Christ resists the temptation to gossip and share tidbits of inflamatory or confidential information. Even when the information is true, it is not wise to share it with others. It hurts the body of Christ. It stomps on the toes of the Bride of Christ. It steps on the hem of her gown as she walks down the aisle to her Groom and tears apart the collective body of Believers. It stifles the fragrance of mercy and grace she carries in her bouquet. It clouds the radiance of her joy, love, and hope. It smothers the truth of God with a veil of deception and hindrance.
Gossip. Tale-bearing cloaked as sharing is gossip when one does not have another’s permission to share. It hurts. It crushes the spirit. It impedes Christian growth.
Have you found yourself as the target of gossip and whispers? I pray you find someone with whom you can feel safe. I pray you lean on them and do not allow one or two to destroy your faith in all. I pray you understand and know that people (even Christian people), are not God. Jesus loves you as you are. He will help you and keep you and give you strength to carry on in the midst of every trial you have. While you may not be able to trust some people, you can trust God.
Lord, help us not to fall prey to the baser qualities of our nature. Help us quench any desire to divulge knowledge that may harm the body of Christ and color His bride with talk that serves no good purpose. Let us prepare our hearts for the day of Your return and seek to walk humbly in Your sight until then.