This is part two of a three part blog series from a sermon I preached at a recent members meeting at Harrisburg Baptist Church.
Romans 1:29–32 (CSB)
29 They are filled with all unrighteousness, evil, greed, and wickedness. They are full of envy, murder, quarrels, deceit, and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, arrogant, proud, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 senseless, untrustworthy, unloving,, and unmerciful. 32 Although they know God’s just sentence—that those who practice such things deserve to die,—they not only do them, but even applaud, others who practice them.
- Gossip is motivated by the harm it inflicts and the pride it puffs up.
Gossip is ”derogatory information about someone that you have that is shared with others in a tone of confidentiality that is not motivated by doing good to them and that you are enjoying in a way that shows your heart is not humble.”
Notice that according to the definition, gossip is not limited to false-statements, though lying can be a form of gossip- not all gossip is untrue.
The motivation of gossip is harm, one of the impacts of gossip in the church is the culture it creates.
- Gossip creates a culture of truth telling that Satan enjoys
Even though Satan is the father of lies, he is also known for using the truth in warped and twisted ways to achieve his own ends of hurt and harm to the people of God. Gossip can be the truth, but it is the truth used in ways that harm others and damage the witness of church… and this is a form of truth that Satan both enjoys and employs in his fight against the Lord.
Here are a few thoughts related to the impact of gossip on the culture of a church:
- Gossip nurtures selfishness rather than selflessness.
- Gossip is an activity of those who hate God and love themselves. Look back at Romans 1 and see the manner of sins that gossip is grouped in. The reality is that all sin is against God, and when Christians sin with gossip they are actively working against the God they claim to worship.
- Gossip hurts. Sticks and stones can break bones, but words hurt in ways we remember and have a hard time getting over. Don’t believe the lie that words don’t make that big of an impact. It is through words that God made the world, and it is through the Word that we are saved, and it is through the speaking of the Word to others that we bear witness to a lost world of the love of God.