In a series @ The Quest Church right now called STICKS and STONES....
Tomorrow I'm preaching on "gossip." Defining it as --- "speaking or hearing anything that can hurt another person" --- and of course, that person is not in your presence when you are speaking or hearing something that would hurt them if they were.
I've realized this week that this one issue is so TOXIC to both our relationship with God, and with others. Gossip erodes our intimacy with our Creator because it is a SIN. It is listed in Romans 1 among sins like murder, etc. Obviously, when we say or hear things that can hurt others, God takes it very seriously (even if we don't). In addition, it erodes our relationships. Certainly with the person we're speaking about (or hearing about - as we begin to think differently about them after hearing negative things about them), but in addition - it erodes our relationships with the whoever we're talking to or listening to (the gossip itself). Think about it - when you hear someone talking about someone else - don't you realize that they will do the SAME THING to you? So we put up walls, etc ... to protect ourselves ... when God would have us taking walls down and striving for more depth and intimacy in our relationships.
I cannot think of one positive reason to gossip -not one. Yet I have participated in it - by speaking about and hearing about others. In doing so, I have sinned against God and people.
I am resolving to NOT gossip. I will not speak hurtfully about others. I will not listen to conversation that could be hurtful to others.
Won't you join me in resolving to NOT GOSSIP? Can you imagine what kind of world we could live in if we made the resolution?
The tongue has the power of life and death....