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Gossip vs. the Gospel: Which wins? | Faith

by | June 9, 2019 5:00 am

Last Updated: June 5, 2019 at 1:06 pm

Given all the happenings in our society today, many people put too much stock in things that they cannot prove or that which is meaningless and serves no real purpose. Some are bored and won’t get a life, so they resort to things that are not going to make their lives any better.
One of those things is gossip. According to the online dictionary, gossip is casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true. Gossip is a characteristic of small-mindedness. Consequently, what is so sad is that those who choose to let the spirit of gossip dwell within them have no idea how they can end up hurting themselves more than the person about whom they are gossiping. What everyone, especially those who choose to make it their business to gossip, should realize is that gossip is bad news; whereas, the Gospel is good news!
Let’s take a look at how some of the Scriptures from the Bible address gossip:
Psalm 41:6 (ESV) “And when one comes to see me, he utters empty words, while his heart gathers iniquity; when he goes out, he tells it abroad.”
Proverbs 11:13 (ESV) “Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.”
Proverbs 16:28 (NIV) “A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.”
Proverbs 26:20 (NIV) “Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down.”
According to the Bible Online Dictionary, the word gospel means “good news.” The good news is that Jesus Christ has made a perfect atonement for mankind that will redeem all mankind from the grave and reward each individual according to his or her works.
Let’s focus on what the Scriptures say about the Gospel:
Romans 1:16 (ESV) “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
I Corinthians 15:1-2 (ESV) “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you — unless you believed in vain.”
Mark 16:15 (ESV) “And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.’”
I Peter 1:25 (TLB) “but the Word of the Lord will last forever. And his message is the Good News that was preached to you.”
In essence, what does gossip do? It hurts, lies, destroys, criticizes, judges, causes confusion, breaks up friends and families, causes chaos, spreads hate, tears down and so on. It has been said, “Gossip is the Devil’s radio!”
What does the Gospel (good news) do? It saves, encourages, inspires, motivates, promotes peace, spreads love, strengthens, comforts, heals and so forth. Clergyman Charles R. Swindoll said, “When you are giving people the gospel, you are giving them something to believe, and you have to set the stage for that. You don’t just drive up, dump the truck, and drive off.”
The spirit of gossip is no good to anyone. Then how do you get rid of it? Pray, remain silent when you hear others gossiping, walk away from it, avoid those who gossip, and don’t say anything about anyone if it is not going to lift up that individual.
James Foley’s poem, “A Pebble,” contrasts gossip and the Gospel (good news) in a simplistic manner, but the meaning is deeply profound.
Drop a pebble in the water: just a splash, and it is gone;
But there’s half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on,
Spreading, spreading from the center, flowing on out to the sea.
And there is no way of telling where the end is going to be.
Drop a pebble in the water: in a minute you forget,
But there’s little waves a-flowing, and there’s ripples circling yet,
And those little waves a-flowing to a great big wave have grown;
You’ve disturbed a mighty river just by dropping in a stone.
Drop an unkind word, or care less: in a minute it is gone;
But there’s half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on.
They keep spreading, spreading, spreading from the center as they go,
And there is no way to stop them, once you’ve started them to flow.
Drop an unkind word, or care less: in a minute you forget;
But there’s little waves a-flowing, and there’s ripples circling yet,
And perhaps in some sad heart a mighty wave of tears you’ve stirred,
And disturbed a life was happy, ere you dropped that unkind word.
Drop a word of cheer and kindness: just a flash and it is gone;
But there’s half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on,
Bearing hope and joy and comfort on each splashing, dashing wave
Till you wouldn’t believe the volume of the one kind word you gave.
Drop a word of cheer and kindness: in a minute you forget;
But there’s gladness still a-swelling, and there’s joy circling yet,
And you’ve rolled a wave of comfort whose sweet music can be heard
Over miles and miles of water just by dropping one kind word.
Have a wonderfully blessed week, and never leave home without Him!

(Anna Bright is a minister and educator in Walterboro. She can be reached at abrightcolumn@lowcountry.com)

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