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Summary: The mark of a true Christian is that of an encourager not a bearer of gossip.

Mid-week Message/Devotion

April 18, 2018

Seek Ye Gospel NOT Gossip!

Yesterday, I shared an article among our readers, from Outreach Magazine entitled: WHAT IF IT'S NOT SOMEONE ELSE'S FAULT? The article emphasizes our need to accept responsibility for our shortcomings, rather than trying to shift the fault or blame (in whole or in part) on other(s). It is an excellent article.

I also expounded on that subject by the example of a very dear friend who succumbed to temptation. This friend was the very last person on earth that I would ever dream of falling. I continue to pray for him without judgment. No sooner had I shared that article and observations than I received inquiries from readers wanting to know who I was referring to, i.e. “was it so and so?” or “who was it?”.

Dearly beloved, I am here to share the gospel, not to share gossip! Just as trying to minimize an error on our part by blaming it on the influence of someone else or some experience that impacted our life may make one feel somewhat less at fault, sharing gossip about some failure in another’s life may make a weak person feel superior in some way. Actually, it makes one appear small and less of a person.

“And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not.” 1 Timothy 5:13

“A perverse man sows strife, and a whisperer separates the best of friends.” Proverbs 16:28

“A talebearer reveals secrets, but he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter.” Proverbs 11:13

“And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Matthew” 7:3-4

With these readings in mind, of what value beyond pure gossip is there in knowing who among us has erred in any way?

My sole purpose in even sharing the example is to remind us how vulnerable we are:

1- We are ALL vulnerable to temptation. I often say that Satan knows our every weakness and he knows just when to place just what temptation before us.

2- Sharing gossip belittles a person and is among the vainest of sins.

3- The mark of a true Christian is in lifting others up not in tearing them down.

4- A superior attitude is a sign of weakness not of strength. Samson had great physical strength, his weak character was his downfall!

“Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing. But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another. We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11-14

I’ll close with some summary notes from Dr. Charles Stanley on this subject:

“We all experience times and situations when we need an encourager—someone who lifts us up if we’re down, motivates us to keep going when we want to give up, and stands with us through every challenging circumstance.

What’s more, each of us needs to be an encourager to someone else. There are people all around us who are discouraged and could use a word of comfort or an act of kindness. Whether friends, family members, acquaintances, or strangers, we could make a tremendous difference in someone’s life and give them a glimpse of Christ as we follow His example of compassion and kindness.”

We recently talked about accountability. When we are being accountable, what better example than avoiding being a gossip or backbiter.

Let us pray -

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Howard Gunter

commented on May 6, 2018

An excellent read on this subject from the website of "Church Leaders.com: You may need to copy and paste to your browser: https://churchleaders.com/outreach-missions/outreach-missions-articles/324647-10-things-ive-learned-about-gossip-and-why-i-hate-it-so-much-ron-edmondson.html?utm_source=cl-sundaysend-nl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=text-link&utm_campaign=cl-sundaysend-nl20180506&maropost_id=742473613&mpweb=256-6815805-742473613

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