Archive for the ‘gossip’ Category

No believer should add fuel to the fires of gossip at work or home or school or at church.

Gossip is so clearly opposed to God’s will and fuels division, not unity.

Of course, you already know this so why am I bringing it up again?

Because God keeps bringing it up in the teachings of scripture.

Apparently, gossip is a recurring flaw of human nature and we have a recurring need to be reminded of how disgusted God is with such behavior.

We’ve all been sliced and diced by gossip and we know how it stings to learn others are trashing us.

Sadly, we’ve all sinned somewhere along the way and joined in the slicing and dicing of another.

I thank God that we have a merciful Abba Father willing to forgive us.

And I thank God that He gives us repeated opportunities to forgive those who gossip about us.

The best way to avoid the trap of gossip is to learn and remember scripture.

For it is that roadmap of faith that can keep us on the path of godliness when Satan is luring us down the detour of divisive comments.

Here’s a message from today’s devotional reading that we should share with others. Doing so just might reduce the amount of costly gossip circulating in your corner of the world, even that spewing from your own mouth.

“Fire goes out without wood, and quarrels disappear when gossip stops.” (Proverbs 26:20)

Life is more enjoyable when we’re not embroiled in quarrels. Let’s do all that we can to keep from “feeding the beast” of gossip.

God will be be pleased. And we’ll have more peace.

As always, I love you

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King Solomon provided me today with wisdom to share that is as practical as it gets.

“Never slander a worker to the employer, or the person will curse you, and you will pay for it.” (Proverbs 30:10)

Griping with untrue words is never right. But when it is clearly intended to get somebody in trouble or even to get them fired, that’s malicious and almost certainly will lead to backlash in this life.

That’s not counting, of course, the accountability before God for engaging in evil behavior.

Just about everybody has been slandered on the job at some point. Probably many more times than we even realize.

When we find out that such has happened, what is our natural reaction desire?

To get even.

But faith is not to be ruled by flesh.

We do right. We speak truth. We demonstrate unmistakable integrity.

And we let time and truth and character be our defenses, speaking up only when we have to.

Let’s avoid slander of others, seeing it for the sin that it is.

That way, we won’t have to pay the consequences of ignoring Solomon’s wisdom.

Let’s instead do all that we can to encourage others to do better and forgive others when they fail.

After all, isn’t this the kind of treatment that WE want from others?

Who will have ultimately have more influence in the workplace? The slanderer? Or the encourager?

As always, I love you

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We’re halfway through the year and we should ask ourselves if we’re more godly now than we were on January 1.

One way we can tell is by honestly assessing if we have improved in observing the life skill addressed in Proverbs 18:8.

“Rumors are dainty morsels that sink deep into one’s heart.”

When the gossip of others tickles our ears, do we listen to it less frequently than we did six months ago?

Perhaps we’ve grown spiritually to the point that we not only don’t add to it, but we don’t repeat it and we even refuse to embrace it.

Those are very good things.

But more is required, I believe, in order to be faithful.

I believe we’re called to counteract it.

I believe we’re called to do our best to defend someone who is under gossip attack.

I’m not suggesting that we condone verifiably inappropriate behavior. I am suggesting, however, that we look for ways to encourage others to show mercy, to show patience, to better understand the whole context of a gossip-generating situation, to look for the good in others.

Everybody messes up.

Those who gossip throw rocks from glass houses.

Ephesians 4 calls us to do everything we can to preserve unity through the bond of peace.

This doesn’t only apply within the church, my friend, but also to every arena of our relationships such as at work or school or in the neighborhood or within our extended family.

Listen, condescending rumors don’t come from God.

So we have no business swallowing them, no matter how tasty they are to our hungry egos.

Our business should instead be responding in love to them.

As always, I love you

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Thank you for your prayers on behalf of my father, George, and for me as I travelled to visit him this week in Indiana. He’s improved since his stroke a week ago, but he’s clearly diminished in strength and mental sharpness. His prognosis isn’t good but we’re counting the blessings of those moments when he is lucid and even smiling. Dad is looking forward to the day when he goes “home” and will lay aside the hassles of the flesh in return for his hope that is forever realized.

March 15, 2013

One of the best ways to strengthen a relationship is for us to keep our mouths shut.

Sounds easy enough to do, but our life record shows times when it apparently wasn’t easy enough for us.

We gossiped.

And people got hurt.

More specifically, they felt betrayed.

Nobody likes that feeling.

I certainly don’t and you don’t, either.

When we find somebody who has looked into our dirty laundry basket and yet keeps his or her mouth shut, we’ve found something very precious.

We know they could trash us, but they choose to protect us.

That builds trust. And trust is the foundation for relationship intimacy.

Remember Paul’s words in I Corinthians 13 — love always protects.

Please, heed Solomon’s advice found in Proverbs 11:13.

“A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.”

Refuse the temptation to gossip about somebody who has irritated you or taken from you and embarrassed you and outshone you or disappointed you.

Protect their secrets as if they were money in a vault.

It’s a Golden Rule thing, you know.

It’s what will perhaps soften the offender’s heart toward you and toward the Gospel.

Turning the other cheek really IS good for evangelism.

Most importantly, it’s what God expects from me and from you.

As always, I love you

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You and I had better think twice before complaining about God.

For He hears every gripe.

Whether they flow across our lips or inhabit only our hearts.

No, He probably won’t zap us dead as He did to some as described in the passage below.

But He certainly will be wounded by our ungratefulness and will set about directing circumstances to persuade a corrected attitude on our part.

Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the Lord, and when he heard them his anger was aroused. Then fire from the Lord burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp.” (Numbers 11:1)

Let’s be grateful about our blessings and prayerful about our burdens. That way, we’ll not repeat the critical-spirit calamities experienced by those long ago who should have known better.

God loves us and will, in His time, bring better days our way for His glory and our good.

Let’s always remember this.

As always, I love you

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Even the nicest of Christians is not immune to the most insidious of sins.

You see, Satan hates it when we’re nice.

That’s why he so persistently tempts us toward the opposite.

That’s why he dangles the sometimes delicious lure of gossip in front of us so that we’ll swallow it in the twisted belief that it will satisfy a craving that could only be described as carnal.

You and I strive to resist these temptations, of course, because we know they are tricky traps described by the Bible as “tasty morsels.”

But sadly, we’ve all chosen at times to illustrate the axiom “You are what you eat.”

We’ve become lousy crumbs.

Let’s pledge once and for all to do better.

Let’s pledge once and for all to recognize and reject Satan’s tricky trap.

Let’s weave Proverbs 10:18 into our lifestyle map.

“Slandering others makes you a fool.” (New Living Translation)

When someone wrongs us, let’s pray for them, not prey upon them.

As always, I love you

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The easiest form of jumping is to a conclusion.

On too many occasions, we see or hear part of a story and we presume the motives of others or the outcome — or both — before we’ve heard the complete account.

Part of the reason for this unChristlike behavior is because we humans are inherently impatient and lazy.

I understand that some of us do not allow those inherent tendencies to have free reign in our lives and that we press ourselves to be responsible with our actions and thoughts..

But left to our fallen human nature, we’d jump to conclusions just as frogs jump after bugs.

If this were not the case, the plague of gossip in our world would die out and the devastation caused by false reports would be greatly diminished.

We’ve all been burned by lies about us that were rotten and costly.

And it’s very likely that we have knowingly or unknowing participated in lying about another based on inaccurate or incomplete information.

Fact is that truthfulness should be our minimum standard in all communications.

Even when it means losing a financial advantage or relationship advantage or spiritual “high ground” advantage over others.

God wants us to always seek the truth, whether it be in what we say or in evaluating what others say.

Why? Because the pervasive influence in this fallen world by the Prince of the world, Satan, is flavored with lies.

Didn’t Jesus say that Satan’s native language was lying?

It’s vital that we avoid speaking his language.

If we fall into that trap, we’ll be discovered sooner or later.

And it won’t be pretty.

We might appear correct for a time but we’ll eventually be discovered and our testimony for the Lord will be damaged because our credibility will be in the garbage can.

Why this topic today? Here is a verse from today’s devotional reading:

“In a lawsuit the first to speak seems right, until someone comes forward and cross-examines.” (Proverbs 18:17)

There’s much at stake with how we speak. If people can’t trust that we’re honest, they won’t trust that our words about a holy God will help them.

Let’s patiently test the words of others to look for truth. And let’s make sure that their testing of our words results in a passing grade.

Then our praise and proclamation will appear sincere.

And we’ll be building the influence that helps to build the Kingdom of God.

As always, I love you

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