Gossip and slander

Proverbs 20:19  He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets, Therefore do not associate with a gossip.

(note: slander and gossip are in the same verse and can have the same negative result, accidentally or on purpose.)

Mark 7:22  deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. “All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.”

1Peter 2:1  Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander,

Faye and I have been a member of, or attended five churches since we recommitted our  lives to the Lord. In every one, there was trouble among the members, and in three of them, what we Christians might call a split. It really hurts to admit that we can’t seem to love each other, and enjoy Christian unity as Jesus prayed for during His High Priestly prayer in John 17. In every case, best as I could determine by digging and interviewing other self proclaimed Christians, the cause of the problems were caused by fire from the tongue. Pride seems to be the main culprit and probably motivated some of the nasty things we do to each other. In jest you have probably heard some one say,” Christians shoot their wounded” it’s not funny. In my last devotional I wrote about the command of Jesus to love one another, is gossip and slander the way to show our love for one another?

I have heard others say, “ there is good gossip and there is bad gossip.” Below is a definition of gossip and slander from Webster’s dictionary.

GOS’SIP, v.i. To prate; to chat; to talk much. 2. To run about and tattle; to tell idle tales.3. One who runs from house to house, tattling and telling news; an idle tattler. [This is the sense in which the word is now used.]

SLA’NDER, v.t. To defame; to injure by maliciously uttering a false report respecting one; to tarnish or impair the reputation of one by false tales, maliciously told or propagated.

We need to be careful, because even if what we say seems innocent when we pass it along, can become unbelievably warped and even though we intend no harm, it could do serious damage to a brother or sister in Christ, as well as others. This can be especially true among us older folks that don’t hear too well and inadvertently pass on an untruth. The best option, is to say nothing. Remember the old saying, if you can’t say something good about some one, don’t say anything. Hurting someone unintentionally and  seeking forgiveness is one thing, but doing it intentionally is an entirely different thing, If we are a gossip, we should look hard at our relationship with the Lord. Remember someone that keeps His commandments, is the one who loves Jesus

James 3:6  And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell.