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We need Godís help on a daily basis. I came across a little prayer in a parish magazine, headed: "A Morning Prayer for Help" - note that I said "morning"! "Dear God, so far today Iíve done alright, I havenít gossiped, lost my temper, been nasty, selfish or over indulgent. But in a few minutes God, Iím going to get out of bed and from then on, Iím going to need all the help I can get."
Think how many temptations you and I face in an ordinary day. Staying in bed late - the temptation to laziness. Growling at the breakfast table - the temptation to unkindness. Arguing over who should change the baby this time - the temptation to selfishness. Starting work 10 minutes late - the temptation to slothfulness. Losing your temper when a co-worker crashes your computer - the temptation to impatience. Flirting with that good-looking woman, taking a second look at the good-looking man - the temptation to lust. Refusing to speak to a person who has hurt you - the temptation to malice. Repeating a juicy story of your neighbor’s misfortune - the temptation to gossip. Lying awake at night thinking sensual thoughts - the temptation to impurity. Taking your anger out on the children after a hard day - the temptation to cruelty. Going out the eat when you can’t afford it - the temptation to self-indulgence. Having a second helping and then a third - the temptation to gluttony. Firing off a hasty letter to a friend who hurt you - the temptation to revenge.
Illus.: Four Preachers Confess
Four preachers met for a friendly gathering. During the conversation one preacher said, “Our people come to us and pour out their hears, confess certain sins and needs. Let’s do the same. Confession is good for the soul.” In due time all agree. One of them said that he had a problem with losing his temper on occasion. The second confessed to liking to smoke cigars and the third one confessed to liking golf so much that he would fake being sick so he could play on weekends.. When it came to the fourth one, he wouldn’t confess. The others pressed him saying, “Come now, we confessed ours. What is your secret or vice?” Finally he answered, “It is gossiping and I can hardly wait to get out of here.”
GO AHEAD AND GOSSIP Harriet, the church gossip and self-appointed supervisor of the churchís morals, kept sticking her nose into other peopleís business.
Several residents were unappreciative of her activities, but feared her enough to maintain their silence. She made a mistake, however, when she accused George, a new member, of being an alcoholic after she saw his pickup truck parked all afternoon in front of the townís only bar. She commented to George and others that everyone seeing it there would know that he was an alcoholic. George, a man of few words, stared at her fo...
A poem by Pastor Clinton Meininger from his book "Springs of Living Waters"tells us of the mysteries of life. He says:
"All around me, Lord of life,
My world is tumbling in.
There’s nothing sure and nothing safe
From gossip, greed and sin:
And yet, I know Thy pardon, Lord,
and thy forgiving power;
And through the storms of life each day
Thy truth sustains each hour.
Oh, help me climb above the storms’
That beat men down each day,
And glimpse a bit of haven on earth
Along life’s burdened way.
Help me to know Thy nearness, Lord.
I cannot walk alone!
So let me feel Thy guiding hand
Through every path unknown.
I do not want to know the goal
Of what tomorrow bring;
One step, one hour, one gleam of light
To make my spirit sing.
And I shall walk through mist or rain
Through storm or summer’s day,
If I but know You’re by my side
Along life’s changing way."
Jean Nidetch, a 214 pound homemaker desperate to lose weight, went to the New York City Department of Health, where she was given a diet devised by Dr. Norman Jolliffe. Two months later, discouraged about the 50 plus pounds still to go, she invited six overweight friends home to share the diet and talk about how to stay on it. Today, 28 years later, one million members attend 25,0000 Weight Watchers meetings in 24 countries every week. Why was Nidetch able to help people take control of their lives?
To answer that, she tells a story. When she was a teen-ager, she used to cross a park where she saw mothers gossiping while the toddlers sat on their swings, with no one to push them. "I’d give them a push," says Nidetch. "And you know what happens when you push a kid on a swing? Pretty soon he’s pumping, doing it himself. That’s what my role in life is-I’m there to give others a push."
Irene Sax in Newsday
One of the powerful figures in Wall Street fell in love with an actress. For many months he was always seen escorting her about in the fashionable circles of town. Deciding to marry her, he first put a private detective to the job of looking into her former dealings and friends in order to guard himself against any rash mistake. At last he received his agent’s report. “Miss Blank enjoys an excellent reputation. Her past is spotless. Her associates have been above reproach. The only breath of scandal is that, in recent months, she has been much seen in the company of a business man of doubtful reputation.”
2 Corinthians 12:20-12:20
My name is Gossip. I have no respect for justice. I maim without killing. I break hearts and ruin lives. I am cunning and malicious and gather strength with age. The more I am quoted, the more I am believed. I flourish at every level of society. My victims are helpless. They cannot protect themselves against me because I have no face. To track me down is impossible. The harder you try, the more elusive I become. I am nobodies friend. Once I tarnish a reputation, it is never the same. I topple governments, wreck marriages, and ruin careers -- cause sleepless nights, heartaches, and indigestion. I spawn suspicion and generate grief. I make innocent people cry in their pillows. Even my name hisses...
Though many fear annoying their friends with spiritual conversations, research shows that there is no annoyance at all when spiritual conversation is held with a family member, close friend, or trusted associate. This supports Michael Greenís observation as to why the early church was so successful evangelistically: The gospel was shared like gossip over the backyard fence. Sadly, just one third of all Christian adults feel that they have any personal responsibility to share their faith with others.
James Emory White, Rethinking the Church (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1997), 49.
pastor named John Gossip once said about Godís love:
The wonderful thing about Christ is that as people looked at Him, followed Him, and watched Him, it became apparent to them that this is what God must be like. They concluded that if there is a God at all, then He must have Christís eyes, Christís ever-helpful hands, Christís characterÖStand upon Calvary and know that if today he loves like that, he always loves like that. Even when our hearts become hot and suspicious of Him or soured and bad-tempered toward Him for His ordering of our lives and crossing our wishes, He still loves us. To be God means always to stoop lower by far than any man could stoop, to bear what never a human heart would dream of bearing, to give Oneself with an abandon of unselfishness that leaves us staring in slack-jawed wonder. His love is a hugeness beyond all human reckoning. It is an everlasting Calvary.