Friday, February 5, 2016



It's not a sin that gets a lot of attention in the church. Many people don't notice it- whether they're delivering gossip, or being told gossip. Unfortunately, many Christians justify gossip with thoughts like, "I just want to know how to properly pray for so-and-so... can you tell me everything he said to her?" Or, on the receiving end, "I probably already know what you're going to tell me so you might as well go ahead and say it..."

I don't know what sort of mental gymnastics we go through to justify gossip, I'm sure it's different for each of us, but lets be honest: many times we say things to our friends or neighbors that we would never say to the person we're talking about. Social media certainly opens the doors for gossip and judgment as we brows through photos on instagram and facebook, judging people's weight, clothing, decisions, friends etc. We somehow get life out of the fact that we are more 'holy' or more 'mature' or 'humble' than the person who constantly talks or posts about themselves. Sure, we all see people online that do things we would never do, or perhaps just shouldn't do (since none of us are perfect), but do we really need to verbalize to other people our thoughts? What if Jesus was in the room with you and your friends, would you still say things about Rachel's terrible makeup and laugh amongst yourselves? Would you still judge Jennifer for the 101 daily selfies, or would you talk about something a little more meaningful?

What about strangers in the street? If you were taking a stroll in the park with Jesus, would you crack jokes about the "ugly", awkward body-shaped people you saw? Or the mother who can't seem to control her child having a temper tantrum? Would you verbalize your disgust for the overweight alcoholic sitting on the park bench and go on about how lazy or pathetic they are? Or what about that woman who you know has had plastic surgery on her face and boobs, prancing around in a skin-tight dress and high heels too high for any human being- would you whisper to Jesus about how outrageous she is? Now all y'all are sitting here thinking, "of course not", and yet we all have inner dialogues with ourselves when we're out in public, and some of us unfortunately verbalize it, and way too often at that.

I want to challenge us (yes, absolutely including myself here), to remember that Jesus is always present. He hears every word we say. If you could physically see Jesus, I'm sure it would be an effective tool to help us all tame our tongues. God sees value and beauty in everyone and so should we. I'm not saying that we need to praise everyone's decisions or call decisions that are clearing damaging, "good", but we all need to remember- if someone is not a Christ follower, we cannot expect them to act like one. Why would we judge the people that don't know God? We are called to LOVE those people. Judgement or "accountability" in the Christian sense, is reserved for people you have intimate, close relationships with. If you see your brother or sister stumbling, you have the responsibility to care for them and bring to light sin or harmful decisions they are making so that they can be restored. And even then, before you do so, you need to examine your own heart. If you do not have a close, intimate relationship with a person, unless you know Holy Spirit has called you to do it, you have no right judging others or pointing out their faults. Without a real friendship, these people won't even hear you. They won't consider what you have to say.

"The tongue has the power of life and death" (Proverbs 18:21). Words have power. If you consider yourself a Christ follower, speaking life giving words should be a priority. There's no need for us to slander anyone. No matter who they are. Even if it's celebrity gossip. Celebrity gossip is some of the lowest talk. We don't know any of these people. Jesus wants a relationship with every person- even the ones in Hollywood. You are no more valuable to God than the actor or actress on the latest netflix phenomenon- even if they are on their 6th marriage and have a drug problem. That's none of our business.

Col. 4:6 says "Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt..."

Jesus died for each and every person on this planet we call earth. Every person has unsurpassable worth in God's eyes. It should be the same in our eyes.