The Word — Offense or the Cross?
Published 9:00 am Sunday, February 13, 2022
Have you ever noticed that sometimes as Christ Followers, we fall into the trap of giving someone the wrong lens, in which to see others? It is so easy to get dragged into unwanted conversation about others. We are going along minding our own business. Then all the sudden we have information that did not belong to us. Our minds have been tampered with a perspective that may or may not even be true. We get offended by false facts.
The Word makes it clear, “Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not want what belongs to others. It does not brag. It is not proud. It does not dishonor other people. It does not look out for its own interests. It does not easily become angry. It does not keep track of other people’s wrongs.” (I Corinthians 13:4,5) See the “does not keep track of other people’s wrongs?” As Christ Followers, we are human and so we must fight against the human nature to gossip. Gossip is wrong.
Clear direction comes from the Word of God: Proverbs 16:28 tells us that gossip is divisive. Matthew 12:36 explains that we will be judged by the very words we say. If we are gossiping, then we bring judgement on ourselves. I Thessalonians 5:11 tells us to build others up – which is God’s way and in Romans 12:2 it teaches us to renew our minds with godly thoughts and actions.
As Christ Followers it is very clear that we cannot carry offense and the cross at the same time. Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and takeup his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). Gossip is truly self-focused. It is not denying ourselves. It is like the news— tragedy and drama sell! If Christ Followers are absorbed into everyone else’s drama, then they are not taking care of their own personal character. The personal transformation in their lives gets stunted because they are spending their time picking other people apart.
Titus 3:10 directs us to warn those that gossip two times and if they do not stop, to avoid them. Wow! What if other believers followed through and did this very action? There is no need to guess-we are simply being avoided.
As we look at our family, friends and neighbors it is necessary that we see them as they are; created in the image of God. This week let us act, by building others up and speaking the Words of God over our situations, our families and our community. Let us speak godly words of life.
Yvette Perrin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.