Gripped by Gossip

The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly. - Proverbs 18:8 (KJV)

In the arena of athletic competition having a good grip is essential for success. To illustrate, I just picked up the game of golf.  Like a large number of other novices, I have discovered that it is a difficult game to play. It is not as easy as it looks.  However, with good instruction, a functional knowledge of the equipment, practice, discipline and thousands of pounds of patience and prayer, you will place yourself in a position to enjoy the game.

The grip is one of the primary fundamentals a golfer is taught.  Any golf instructor worth his salt will tell you that the first step in learning to swing a club is to learn how to hold or grip the club.  An inappropriate grip will contribute to inconsistent golf shots.  However, many golfers do not understand the importance their grip plays in the game of golf.  Consequently, they continue to use a defective grip because their faulty grip feels familiar and comfortable to them.

Let’s turn our attention to another kind of grip that is not only counterproductive to the body but also devilish and destructive to the unity of believers.  This is the grip of gossip.  Proverbs 18:8 introduces us to the talebearer or the gossiper, a person who engages in gossip.  Gossip is defined as a casual or unconstrained conversation or report about people typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true.  Likewise, talebearers are those who secretly carry stories from neighbor to neighbor which perhaps have some degree of truth but include secrets that are inappropriately shared.  A talebearer’s tales are often soiled with slander and misrepresentations of the facts for the sole purpose of injuring and causing conflict in relationships.  It is unfortunate that the words of gossipers and talebearers are often received with ears of eagerness and excitement.  The bible never condones gossip or talebearers.

A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter. - Proverbs11:13 (KJV)

A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends. - Proverbs 16: 28 (KJV)

Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth. - Proverbs 26:20 (KJV)

Unfortunately, gossip is often received as choice morsels (things greedily devoured). It is tantamount to a greedy person’s approach toward snacks!  I call it snacking on the FRITOS® of the Flesh!  Gossipers have never been welcome in the bible! Even Moses warned about this slanderous  practice.

Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people - Leviticus 19:16a (KJV)

God's Word has zero tolerance for the gossiper.  As a body of believers, we should not accept a hint of words that are hell-sent to sever relationships and supplant unity in the body!  Gossip cannot grip you if you do not offer it an opportunity to do so! Do not make yourself accessible to gossip! When someone approaches you with the following: “Guess what I heard?” or “You would not believe what I just found out,” rebuke them like the Lord by responding “Get behind me Satan!”  This accomplishes a number of things. First, it nails them in their nefarious tracks! Second, it identifies them as instruments of the enemy!  Third, it causes them to think twice before treating you with their treacherous tidbits!  And finally, the best case scenario is that they would repent and release themselves from the grip of gossip!

Not a Sermon But a Thought,