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Practical Leadership

Gossip is Evil!

By Dr. Richard J. Krejcir
Gossip is Missing the Mark that Christ has for us!

The result of gossip being spread and not adequately dealt with; especially by leaders, creates an atmosphere of distrust.
Gossip is Missing the Mark that Christ has for us!
The result of gossip being spread and not adequately dealt with; especially by leaders, creates an atmosphere of distrust. Once the leadership of the church is causing discontent, not only are they missing the mark that Christ has for us, but they create such an untrusting atmosphere that the true believers cannot confide with counseling matters, nor do they mature adequately. This is a lesson for all of us; we all have skills and issues that we need to work on in our spiritual walk with the Lord. I do not believe we as Christians will ever achieve full perfection, nor does God call us to be totally perfect. But what God does call us is to be our best. And when we refuse to grow, and we keep making the same mistakes over and over again all we're doing is hurting Christ, His people and ourselves.

The Bible gives us clear direction on how we are to keep our mouths in His direction; God's direction not our own. Proverbs gives us many verses that show our human weakness and fallen state that seeks out the destruction of each other instead of building each other up as God desires us to do.

What we can Do

If you still are not sure what is gossip and what is not, use this simple formula or acronym to give you the nudge: THINK!!!

T-THINK Proverbs 16:23, are you? And if you are thinking, is the information TRUE? If the information is not true, then dispose of it. If you are not sure of its validity, then check it out with reliable sources! If a person keeps spreading the slander, then seek out the pastor and or leadership in charge.

H-HELPFUL Proverbs 18:20, is it? Will the information be an encouragement and blessing to the person you are sharing about or sharing to? If not, then do not share it, unless it is necessary to protect some one. Such as telling the church leadership that someone is gossiping and refuses correction.

I-INSPIRING Proverbs 24:26, is it? Will the information convict someone in a Biblical way, and in a positive way? Will the information be uplifting? If so, then give it, if not, then don't do it!

N-NECESSARY Proverbs 10:10, is it? Does the person need the information, or do you need to tell it? If it's the telling, then it is of no worth! Don't do it!

K-KIND Proverbs 12:18; 25, is it? Will the information be kind to the person, so in turn you will be kind in giving it?

If you cannot honestly justify your message to this acronym, then do not say it! Instead try to say something encouraging, from your heart, and always, if in doubt, PRAY with Psalm 141:3 "Help me guard my words whenever I say something." Contemporary English Version

"When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal." James 3:2

James in this verse is communicating to us that with a small piece of hardware we can control a large animal, so why not put a control on our own mouths. Without such a piece of hardware, a bridle, we would not be able to control a horse. In a similar way, when we put the control of our mouth in the hands of Jesus and in turn surrender our will and desire to slander; then we can be a great blessing to those around us, instead of being a hindrance. The question is, who has control of your tongue? Whose direction are the words and actions that come from your mouth aimed to?

The willingness to come before God and seek forgiveness is paramount. The willingness to ask God for help in controlling our mouths is by the book: God's book! "Help me Lord to keep my mouth shut!" {Psalm 141:3 LB} If you are a typical American, you can be expected to say over 30 conversations a day; that is, saying over 20,000 words a day for a man, and 30,000 words a day for a women, and for the typical pastor…let's not go there! You will spend 1/5th of your life talking, and you can fill 66 books each with 800 pages in a typical year! So we need help. And as Christians, God's Word and Prayer are the only valid means of our tongue's salvation! Yes, we need help!

The tongue can be a force to spread the good news as it was meant; however, it too often is the force of evil in our churches. It can be so evil and so good. The same tongue can be a Billy Graham, or the church lady on Saturday Night Live. The tongue can say I love you and I care for you, and it can say I hate you. It expresses the love and hate, and the praise and contempt of our soul. So watch it and guard it, or the pew you sit in will be empty!

The gossip itself may not last, because if it is false, time will unravel it. That is why I was not allowed to put a stop to it at that church in the south. The leaders knew it was untrue, so the one leader spreading the false information was just shooting herself. Well this turned up true, but what they did not realize is that even though the truth came out, the damage done was irreparable. Damaging information should never be spread. The only exception is, if it's true AND is essential for someone's protection. If you hear someone's boy friend has a gun and is looking for Suzy, then gossip away to the police and Suzy! But if it's someone's secret salad dressing recipe, keep it to yourself

With the control of our tongue, we will be able to say no! I will not spread that false information! A single word can condemn or glorify. It can ask, will you marry me, and say I do, and then it can divorce us from those promises. The action is what you make of it and whose control your will is in! The actions of our gossip will not only effect the others we try to harm but will boomerang back to hit us! And continue like a disease and infect our whole being. The richness of encouragement or the destruction of gossip are yours to command, but beware we will all be held accountable for our actions! Yes, there is Grace, but make no mistake the importance of responsibility!

When we get to heaven we will be with a lot of X-hypocrites! Let us watch our mouths!

© Rev. R.J. Krejcir 1998, 2001, Francis A. Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership Development

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