Friday, June 8, 2012

Gossip Hurts Everyone

Take the Gossip Challenge

Without a doubt you know someone who is a gossip because all they do is gossip.  They probably even drool when they hear something ‘good’.  I mean ‘good’ as in really juicy.  It might big.  It might be little.  If it is something they can tell others and cause trouble or get a reaction, then they are happy.

These career gossips may or may not realize they are gossips.  In fact, some of us reading this may need to take a few moments to pause and examine our own lives to see if we (not me of course) ever gossip.

Here is the test for closet gossips.

First, they really don’t like the word ‘gossip’.  They think it is wrong to gossip.  In fact they KNOW it is wrong to gossip.  In order for a person like this to gossip they must first come up with a ‘reason’ to spread around something that should not be spread around.

They think and think and think about some bit of information they have heard until they decide that they need to ‘talk to someone’ about it ‘for the good of the person involved’.  That becomes their excuse to gossip.   He/she says, ‘I know this about the problem Sweet-Nell is having.  I need to talk to Precious-Pete about the situation with Nell.  I will have to tell Pete about the problem so he can help me think up a way to do something about it.’  The gossip tells herself that she just wants to help Nell.  However, what she REALLY wants is to get to tell someone all about the problem Nell is having.  The gossip convinces herself that she is doing it all for a ‘good cause’.  Yeah, right.  The good cause is she wants to gossip.  Gossip is really slander.  It is evil. 

Also, while a gossip is often stereotyped as a woman with nothing to do, gossips are all ages, economic and social levels, and both genders.  Everyone is tempted to gossip.  Some are more predisposed to gossip than others, but no one is exempt from the temptation.

I am not saying that there is never a real reason to seek help or discuss an important matter with someone other than the exact people involved.  However, it is not often.  The main thing is that most things told in secret or overheard somehow do not need to be repeated.  And, they should certainly not be discussed without the express permission of the person/people involved. 

Gossip accuses people of doing something wrong.

The devil is the accuser of the brethren, but gossips do his work for him. 

Revelation 12:10  tells us, ‘And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.’

How the devil must love gossip.  The most famous snake of them all has millions of traitors within the church cowardly accusing their brothers and sisters in Christ of sins, while constantly doing the devil’s work themselves.  Talk about have a log in your eye while telling the world about a speck in someone elses eye!

Gossipers are thieves.  They steal other people’s reputations!  Does anyone know where you go to recover a stolen reputation?  They also steal away friendships.  When a lie has been told about someone to a friend, that friend is hurt.  Their trust in the friend is shaken.  The innocent person winds up trying to restore trust with someone when they haven’t done anything at all. (Of course a friend of many years is not easily taken in by gossip.  However, how many new friendships have been ruined by a gossip?)

Proverbs 16:27 says, ‘An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips there is as a burning fire.’

A gossip looks for evil in others.  The ungodly are gossips. He/she gossips with a passion like a raging forest fire!

A gossip is a modern day word for a talebearer.  The Bible has some choice words to say about them…

A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.  Proverbs 11:13

This one is really good.  If you hear a rumor, do not repeat it.

The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.  Proverbs 18:8

This is certainly true.  Learning about gossip about yourself or your family or friends does feel like you have been stabbed in the stomach.

He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.  Proverbs 20:19

Pay attention to this one.  If someone is a known gossip do not associate with them.  If you have to be around them be careful to say nothing at all.  Also, try to never be alone with them for a second.  Then you will have a witness if they start gossip about you.

Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth. Proverbs 26:20

Don’t waste a lot of time trying to explain or stop gossip.  That may
just gives fuel to the fire.  Remove yourself from it. Also, it is my firm opinion that BEFORE you defend a friend in a gossip episode – you need to first ask your friend if he or she WANTS to be defended.  Sometimes it just stirs the pot and keeps the problem going longer.  Once in my experience there was a terrible rumor about a good friend.  A letter to the editor of a local newspaper was written filled with lies about my friend.  I asked him if he wanted me to write a letter in his defense.  He said no thank you because he thought it would only keep the gossip going longer.  The charges were totally and provably false.  He just thought his friends would know they were false and others would not believe they were false no matter what who came to his defense.  He had the final say and I did not write a letter of defense.

What is the result of gossip?

It hurts the gossip.  People may want to listen to a gossip, but no one really likes them.  Certainly no one trusts them.  By the way, a gossip can take the most innocent remark and twist it or exaggerate it into something entirely different.  Once burned, no one trusts a gossip or wants to be around them.

It divides people.  People who might have been good friends based on common interest and beliefs are separated by the hurt that comes from gossip. 

It can crush a church.  One person’s big mouth can cause a church to split entirely.  Efforts to evangelize are completely neutralized by the gossip of one wicked tongue.

It makes the church and Christians look bad to the unsaved world. 

What can you do about gossip?

Start by recognizing the source of gossip or tale-bearing.  It is the devil.  Gossips do the devils work.  Do you work for God or the devil?

Then determine that you will not listen to gossip under any circumstances.  If you are in doubt regarding whether something is gossip or not give it the old ‘THINK’ test.  I know it has been around for years and may be a bit on the corny side.  I also know I have no idea who came up with it in the first place.  It wasn’t me.  Anyway here it is.  When evaluating conversation as to whether or not it has stepped over the line into gossip ask yourself:

Is it True
Is it Helpful
Is it Inspiring
Is it Necessary
Is it Kind

Remember true gossips may go through the ‘think’ process and still want to gossip.  That is when they convince themselves that they need to ‘talk it over’ with someone in order to ‘help’.  Gossip destroys the gossip and everything they profess to love.

Do not gossip yourself!
Do not listen to gossip!

Barbara Henderson

Please visit my author page on Amazon Kindle

My books are:
Soul Wars Trilogy - books one and two now available
Oh Worship the King
Everyday Prepping for Beginners
Christian Self-Help and Encouragement  2013
(just a collection of articles from my blog )

If you get a chance please read my books and recommend them to others.

Thank you all.


Monday, June 4, 2012

True Hope

This article was posted about three years ago.  It seems helpful for today, so I am posting it again.

Thankful for Hope

As we approach the day set aside to give thanks to our God, the Christian has far more for which to be thankful than those who do not know Jesus Christ. Most Christians can say they are thankful for their salvation, their families, their freedoms, and whatever material possessions they may have. Christians can also be thankful for the love of God, a love that is immeasurable and eternal. In His immeasurable love, God has given us more. God has given us hope.

For the Christian, ‘hope’ is not a feeling. Hope itself may produce a feeling that things are going to turn out right, or that we will get something specific, or be able to accomplish some specific task. But hope in itself is not a feeling. Hope for the Christian, is, at least in part, fore-knowledge of events or actions that are going to eventually come to pass. Hope is the encourager, pushing the Christian to leave behind the thoughts and actions of their old life, and go forward into a closer and purer walk with Jesus Christ. Hope is the catalyst that spurs the Christian to forward actions. Thank God for hope.

Here is what the Bible says about hope.

Hope of immortality is confirmed in scripture.
‘And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.’ Acts 24:15

Hope of heavenly rewards
‘For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;‘ Colossians 1:3

Hope of the second coming
‘Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;’ Titus 2:13

Hope that anchors the soul
‘Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;’ Hebrews 6:18

Hope based in the resurrection of Jesus Christ
‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,’
1 Peter 1:3

Hope that abides forever
‘And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity’
1 Corinthians 13:13

Hope that inspires the believer to clean living
‘And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.’
1 John 3:3

Now, where does one gain hope such as this? Where else can a hope that endures through emotional highs and lows be found?

Hope is gained through scripture
‘For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.’ Romans 15:4

If you have already become a Christian, this life changing hope is available to you. You will find it through hiding the words of God in your heart. The more of God’s words and teachings you know, the more hopeful you will become. It really is that simple.

If you do not know Jesus Christ as your savior, then this hope is NOT available to you.
The Bible tells us, ‘But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.’ 1 Corinthians 2:14

The hope available to Christians is clearly not available to the ‘natural man’, which is to say unbelievers.

Seeing that we Christians have such hope through Jesus Christ, should we not pray to be able to direct those without hope to the Giver of Hope? The hope that is in us should make us bold to proclaim salvation to the lost, that they might have hope also.

Hope that makes believers bold
‘But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:’ 1 Peter 3:15

We Christians have hope not based on the world system, which is made up of government, economics, mystery religions, and the society these things produce. Our hope is not of this world. It cannot be crushed or defeated by events occurring in the earthly realm. Our hearts may be broken, but hope in God and His promises will abide.

The hope of the Christian is built on the solid rock of Jesus Christ and His abilities to make good on the promises He has made to us in scripture. (Romans 4:21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.) Hope based on performance by any human being is risky. The thing is, even when someone has the best of intentions in fulfilling a promise, circumstances beyond their control may prevent it. But hope in God is sure. In Psalm 42:5 says, ‘Why are thou cast down, O my soul? And why are thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God” for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.’

Do you find that your hope is faded or even fainted? Maybe I should ask if occasionally it seems your hope has ‘passed out entirely’? It happens to Christians. Their hope seems gone. The problem often lies in taking our eyes off our source of hope, which is God Almighty. We begin to hope in things of the world. We hope a political election will change things, or a new medicine, or a new boss at work, or more education, or less education, whatever the case may be. What really changes things is hope in God. Let your soul hope in God.

Sometimes to continue to hope is hard or close to impossible. Consider Psalm 119:81 which says, ‘My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy word.’

This poor psalmist said his soul was fainting for the salvation or deliverance he was seeking: but, he refused to see hope as a feeling. Instead he hoped in or relied upon the sure word of God. His hope in God defended him against Satan’s attack. When we despair to see the deliverance of God, we are to go back and encourage ourselves through scripture to continue to hope in God. When the chips are really down, you don’t need the emotionalism of worldly hope to help you get through whatever is going on in your life. You need the hope in God that is greater than ‘how you feel’ at the moment. Thank God He is greater than our feelings.

This is my ‘Thanksgiving Prayer’ for you.

‘Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.’ Romans 15:13

The song for this article is ‘My Hope is Built’. This is a song of encouragement for those, who like the psalmist, are fainting in the flesh, but continue to hope it God.

Barbara Henderson

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.
On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.
When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.