Sharp Tongues!

gossip, truth, church

Sharp Tongues

One of the most harmful things we do as a Church that causes us to inflict pain upon ourselves is gossip. Gossip is a rumor that goes in one ear and out many mouths.  It weaves through and among the Church like poison through our veins; it spreads in every direction like a vine on a wall until it chokes the very object of its being.  

And when we allow mendacity into our midst, the Body of Christ gets bruised and the Body members (who in some degree are already deeply wounded in ways unknown to us as a result of living in this sin-tainted world) become further inflicted and in need of bandaging… and in some cases, hospitalization.

Human nature gravitates naturally to the dramatic because the story of humanity is one monumentally large drama.  Human nature also has a natural bent toward hubris, which is usually the catalyst for any attempt to attack, offend, and diminish the character of others.  

Even ancient Greek philosophers understood this natural human tendency for one to belittle others in order to elevate oneself.  These wise words, attributable to Socrates, are applicable to the self-promoting and big mouthed: “Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.”

Thank God for the Holy Spirit who affords us access to the supernatural mind of Christ.  Thank God we have the spiritual ability to take every thought captive for Christ, as the Apostle Paul confirms.  Thank God we have the Spirit of Truth who works within us so we can edify one another and keep the bond of peace.  Thanks be to God we have a Savior who demonstrates to us what unconditional love, grace and compassion look like in action!

If the Church were to refrain from the sin of deceit and rely on the Power of God through the Spirit to build each other up with words and not break each other down with lies, then we would become, once again, the Church Jesus spoke about when he looked at Peter and said, “You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church and the gates of hades will not prevail against it.”

Awhile back I heard a story about a young man who went to his priest to confess.  He said, “Father I’ve sinned by gossiping about someone.  What should I do now?” The priest replied, “Put a feather on every doorstep in town.”  The young man did just that.  He then came back to the priest wondering if there was anything else he should do. The priest said, “Now… go back and pick up all those feathers.”  The young man replied excitedly, “That’s impossible!  By now the wind will have blown them all over town!” The priest responded, “Just like those feathers, your words of gossip have become impossible to retrieve.”

As followers of Christ it is of great importance that we don’t speak… unless we seek and speak Truth; and then, speak that truth in love.  Truth and love, these two things stand side by side. And it’s up to us, as the Body of Christ, to make sure we promote truth and love… and at the same time, build up the Body and not break it down.


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