john mcdonald 2

DISCIPLINE

JOHN MCDONALD

Proverbs 16:28

A perverse man spreads strife, and a slanderer separates intimate friends.

I tried to go through the Bible and count how many times it talks about gossip, slander (making a false statement that damages a person’s reputation), or malicious talk, but I gave up counting. Believe me, I tried; there are just so many. Why would Jesus talk about this topic so much? Every single one of us gossips and some of us struggle with doing it all the time. We mask it by saying that we’re just, “saying it how it is,” but really it’s just an awful way of building ourselves up and destroying others, even if we’re not intentionally trying to hurt them. Jesus talks about it so much because it is that important. He wants everything out of our mouths to be full of truth, life and love. Where does gossip or slander fit in?

I spent a year traveling the world with a small team of missionaries and we had this system in place where if you ever talked bad about someone behind their back you would get 24 Hour Ruled by the person you were complaining to. You had a 24 hour window in which you had to go to the person you were gossiping about and tell them what you said and talk it out. It sounds terrifying and it certainly was, but it also very quickly stopped our gossiping tongues. You don’t necessarily have to go to that extreme, but next time a bit of gossip rises to the tip of your tongue think about whether you would want to tell that person to their face what you’re about to say. Then replace those hurtful words with words that will build them up or make them feel loved.

QUESTION 1. Are you a gossiper? If you say no, go through your day and count how many times something comes out of your mouth that is not truth and life giving. You’ll be surprised.
QUESTION 2. Do you find yourself joining in on gossip when your friends do it? Are you scared to take a stand against it because of what your friends might say?
CHALLENGE: Take a stand against gossip and slander. Try to say something complimentary about the person you were just about to slander, or better yet, pray for them.