Gossip

JESUS SPEAKING

                The high priest then asked Jesus about his disciples and his doctrine.  Jesus answered him, “I spoke openly to the world.  I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where the Jews always meet and have said nothing in secret” (John 18: 19-20.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

                After being arrested, the Lord was taken before the Jewish leaders to be interrogated.  They sought to find something in his teaching by which to condemn him.  Jesus was considered a Rabbi; Rabbi’s spoke publicly; they gave everyone the opportunity to ask questions and to cross examine them (In fact, the religious leaders sent many servants in disguise to ascertain the nature of Christ’s doctrine.)  Jesus never said anything in secret that he did not also profess openly.  Speaking in secret is a sign of ungodliness (Gossip for instance is a type of destructive, private communication.  The Lord never gossiped and he never slandered; instead, he spoke the truth publicly and without remorse.)

                One day a group of pastors began to talk.  They all agreed that those who confessed their sins on a regular basis were more joyful.  So the four men decided that they should meet and confess their sins to one another.  Upon meeting, the first pastor confessed that he routinely called in sick so he could attend the theatre.  The second pastor confessed that in the evenings he liked to smoke cigars.  The third pastor confessed that he had a major gambling problem; he often flew to Las Vegas where he would lose large sums of money.  The final pastor refused to confess.  But the other pastors pressed him until finally he made his admission.  He said, “Well, I confess that I really like to gossip, and I can hardly wait to get out of here.”

                Although this fictional illustration is humorous, Gossip is not.  Jesus never engaged in gossip, and his followers should strive to be like him, ‘in thought, word, and deed.’  Everything we say must stand up under scrutiny.  Our private communication must be congruent with our public communication; if what we say cannot be printed on the front page of the newspaper, perhaps we have no business saying it.  Speak openly; speak truthfully; speak lovingly; and you will never be ashamed.

                “Lord Heavenly Father, help us to avoid gossip; may we speak openly; may we never speak out of hate or contempt, but out of love.  Fill our hearts with Your Holy Spirit, and may our mouths always speak the truth.  May Your words be our words; may Your thoughts be our thoughts; may Your desires be our desires.  May we glorify You in ‘thought, word, and deed.’  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.”  God bless all of you.

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