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Summary: Part 3 of a Three sermon series on the power of the tongue

CHILD, DID YOU HEAR?

Zip It Week Number 3

Text: Psalms 57:4, James 3:5-6

INTRODUCTION

This is week number three, the final week of our “Zip It” Sermon series. This week we’re talking about gossip. I’m sure you can all rest easy because none of us at Spring of Hope have challenges in that area, right? So, let’s first look at the different kinds of gossipers. The first one is what we’ll call the prayer request gossiper. You know that person, right? These are the ones that invade your space, and they say, “You know, what, we really just gotta pray for Tommy, because he’s just … I saw him last week. He was at Blockbuster, and he was renting adult videos. I can’t believe it. His family’s just falling apart, and he’s addicted to this and that, but let’s pray for him. Can we? You know that person, the prayer request gossiper, the one who can tell about seeing Tommy renting adult videos but never explaining why they were in the adult video section themselves.

How many of you guys know any prayer request gossipers? Raise your hand. O.K. here’s another one is what I call the “But I still love em” gossiper. I was at a restaurant the other day. I’ve been eavesdropping on folk’s conversations for the past seven or eight days getting ready for this message. And so these ladies were talking, and they were just dogging this other lady, kind of a little finger snapping, and head rolling, you know, “she thinks she’s all that cuz her man buys her everything. he bought her a car, he paid for her college, he gives her a credit card, and they were just completely hating on her. But then, right before they left, they said, “But, you know, I still love her.” It’s like, “she still a sweetie.” How many of you know those kinds of gossipers? The nerve to dogg you out and then say, I still love em.

And then you have the don’t know when to shut up gossiper. These are the people that just love to talk and they just kind of talk because that’s what they do. Some people go to work, and some people just talk. Some folks play tennis, some folks talk. Some folks like music or golf, others…..talk. Some people read or write or play cards or shop, others……talk. Do you know anyone whose favorite hobby is TALKING! You don’t need to say anything to them….they gonna talk you WHOLE EAR off! And so, they just talk, and they’re always talking, “Man, do you know about Malik and Shefika? I think her father was involved in that.” And then they’re talking about Paris Hilton breaking up with her fiance’, Lindsay Lohan’s car crash, how much money Puffy gotta pay in child support….acting like they really know these folks…..and then they’re picking up the telephone and they are saying, “do you know about so and so? They’re marriage is really struggling!” A-N-D T-H-E-Y J-U_S-T keep talking, and they keep talking. They’re talking about the neighbors’ problems, and they talk … and they talk, and they talk, and they talk, and they talk, and they talk. How many of you guys know these kinds of people? And I know nobody in here is like is that person. Right? But we all know who they are!

And then, last but not least, you’ve got the more macho type of gossiper….The “I’m just tellin the truth” gossiper. Man, I’m just telling the truth. I’m just throwing it out there.” How many of you know those type of gossipers?

We always come in contact with these types of people, but here’s the reality , gossip is everywhere. You are going to notice when you walk out of the sanctuary today that it literally is everywhere. You kick back. You are at home. You turn on the television and they’ve got Talk Soup They’ve got Entertainment Tonight, Hard Copy, Current Affair. Joan Rivers has moved to TV Guide channel . And so she’s got her big gossip deal going on there, and it’s literally all over the place. Even on what are considered reputable news networks….CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS (and yes, I left FOX out on purpose….I said reputable) Even on these networks we gotta hear about Tiger Woods sex escapades….Paris Hilton, Jesse James cheating on Sandra Bullock…..WHO CARES?!

And so, gossip is all over the place: mobile phones, text messaging, emails, myspace.com, facebook.com. And it’s not just through technology, but it happens in our homes. It happens with our neighbors. It happens at the office. Happens as we are driving in the car. Guess what, let me let you in on a little secret, It happens IN THE CHURCH…..and the list goes on and on and on. Gossip is all over the place. Maybe you’ve had a conversation and it sounds something like this, “So, you heard about Russ.” “No, I haven’t. What’s going on?” “Man, he’s just really struggling financially right now. His oldest kid, man, he’s on drugs and they are trying to deal with that situation. Man, he caught his wife cheating with his best friend.” “Really, man. Poor Russ. I can’t believe that.” “And his wife’s pregnant again and you know the baby might not be his. Shoot, they can’t even get raise the kids they have. Can you believe they are having another one? And you look at each other and you say, “Man, poor Russ.” You walk away and you have left Russ’ reputation simmering in a pile of ashes.

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