THE ‘SMALL’ SWEET SIN~~reflection.

Let me ask, as a Christian do you occasionally slip up and commit a murder here or there? Or how about theft — do you occasionally burglarize a home or steal things from the store? You may think this is silly to ask. Of course, a Christian lifestyle doesn’t behave that way. But how about gossip or slander? Do you engage in idle talk or rumors about others? Do you participate in bad-mouthing or spreading rumors about others? According to the Bible, which sin is less severe? Murder or gossip? I’m sure you get the message:BOTH are sins equally worthy of death.

Unfortunately, some of us Christians have become busybodies. The dictionary defines a busybody as “a meddler; a person who seeks confidential information about others; a snoop; a nosy person.” A busybody is another close relative to gossip — a person who meddles in the affairs of others. They are like a peeping-tom who snoops and spies. A busybody is the investigator for the gossips and rumormongers, seeking to uncover sensational details and to whisper the latest news. Sometimes busybodies are persons who have too much time on their hands, with nothing better to do than to talk too much. Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to. But unfortunately, Christians do not usually consider gossip and its related activity as sin.

Some christians don’t seem to think gossip is wrong — some are obsessed as busybodies, gossips, and bad-mouthers, and have caused irreparable damage to the body of Christ.Accusations and rumors have ripped out the heart and soul of many fellow Christians and leaders, draining them of their love, enthusiasm, and their desire to live for God. It has split churches, created strife, and promoted division and turmoil.

Sadly, some have said that “the Church” is the only army that kills its wounded. Regrettably, this has sometimes been true. Brothers who have needed our love, forgiveness and encouragement have been mutilated by gossip and evil talk. It is no wonder that gossip is equal to murder. It is nothing less than verbal rape and assassination.

What we must realize is, gossip is more than a little bad habit. Gossip is wicked and sinful — a seething disease of corruption from the mouth. Gossips use their mouth as a weapon — a weapon which is always aimed at people to fulfill Satan’s desires to “steal, kill, and destroy.” Gossip is an enemy to God and everything called holy — a cancer which spreads a deadly infection to the body of Christ.

Gossip is one of the most dangerous sins because it is so subtle and ambiguous — many are unable to recognize it. Be on alert against gossip whenever you hear of “secret information” being circulated, or if you hear anyone else’s name is used in a conversation. Gossip exists whenever persons “talk about others” in less than a favorable way. The root of gossip is negativeness, judgementalism, slander, etc. Avoid associating with people who gossip.

Gossip often masquerades as “concern” for others. Rumors or gossip will seem more palatable if they first hide behind a pretentious expression of concern. “I hate to say anything about this to you, but I’m ’concerned’ about so and so.” At other times the gossiper will seek you out as their “confidante” to unload their “heavy heart” about their concerns. “I’m very troubled about so and so and I don’t know who else to talk to about it.” In reality, the gossip is not sincerely concerned about solving the problem, only in talking about it — stirring it up.

A gossip thrives on the negative, the controversial, and the sensational.

THE PUNCH LINE:Any person who is genuinely concerned about solving a problem, will go and privately confront the person at the source and express their concern.

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