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Gossip in the Church
There are continuous attempts to cause schisms in the Body of Christ. One of these attempts is through gossip. Gossip regarding accusations against each other is a common attack of the Adversary. It becomes powerful for him when people submit to (and worse yet, feed into) the gossip. The scriptures say regarding gossip, “Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out” (Proverbs 26:20). The fire is referring to strife. Strife ceases where gossip is stopped.
The deepest root of gossip is not emotionally based, based on feelings or on being wronged, these are simply vehicles. Although feelings and emotions can also be strong drivers, gossip is adversarily induced to plant seeds of question and doubt regarding what God says is true in Christ about each other. Jesus Christ’s death put us in a whole new category. All wrongs have been absolved. NOTHING can be held against us. Here are some examples of our absolution through Christ:
- Romans 4:24-25:“24 but for our sake also, unto whom it shall be reckoned, who believe on him that raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up for our trespasses, and was raised for our justification.”
- Romans 4:6-8: “6 Even as David also pronounceth blessing upon the man, unto whom God reckoneth righteousness apart from works, 7 [saying], Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, And whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the man to whom, the Lord will not reckon sin.”
- Romans 8:32-33: “32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not also with him freely give us all things? 33 Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth;”
- Hebrews 10:12-14: “12 but he, when he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13 henceforth expecting till his enemies be made the footstool of his feet. 14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”
- 1John 2:1-2:“1 My little children, these things write I unto you that ye may not sin. And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 and he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole world.”
- 1John 2:12:“I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.”
This is only to name a few sections of Scripture where our Father makes it clear that He will NOT hold anything against us because of Christ’s redemptive work, claimed by our Lord on the cross as, “It is finished!” What is finished for our Lord should be finished for us.
As a result of Christ finished work, we are to think of each other in NO CONTRARY WAY to what our Father says is true about each other. NO MATTER what is said, accused or judged by any other standard, we are to hold to God’s standard about each other. In other words, what can you or I do contrary to God which was not addressed by the cross?... NOTHING. So let us hold to our God-given perspective about each other.
- 2Corinthians 5:16-17: "16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. 17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
We are “a new creation in Christ.” As such, we “know no man according to the flesh.” Let usHold to God’s perspective of ourselves and each other. It is a spiritual trap to respond to gossip or accusations against whom God calls holy with anything contrary to what God says is true. Don’t be deceived into responding to carnality with carnality.
Now with God’s unyielding perspective of the finished work of redemption, and viewing gossip as adversarial, we can build into a related point: People who feel that they have been wronged by other people are hurt. They become sensitive to protect their wound, much like we protect a physical wound. They will tend to lash out, saying things out of their hurt. Please be sensitive to their hurt while they are coming into Christ’s wholeness regarding the person who they feel wronged them. This healing can take some time. Hold to God’s perspective of the cross regarding them even if they will not listen to that message of their deliverance at this time. The work of the cross will overpower their hurt even if it takes the return of Christ. All will be resolved by the cross which absolved all, sooner or later.
- 1Peter 4:8: “Above all continue to love one another fervently, for love (agape in the Greek, uncondistional love, the love of God, that love which seeks not her own but profit unto others) throws a veil over a multitude of faults."
- 1John 4:10:“In this is love (agape), not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the full payment for our sins."
Loving one another fervently is not syrupy sweet, making everything feel nice. That is religion. That is another of man’s ways to deal with one who is hurt. To have fervent love of God for each other is to adhere to Christ’s payment for each and every one of our sins, even the sins of the whole world. To “agape” each other is to think of each other and deal with each other according to the cross of Christ.
Believers who feel wronged by others in the body need to come to the perspective of the cross regarding their hurt. It is usually necessary to be sensitive to their hurt so as to not pour salt on their wound. If at all possible, lead them to the work of the cross of Christ to guide them to their God-provided healing. In the meanwhile, be praying in this regard, allowing yourself to be humbled by God’s solution to all of man’s problems - Christ and Him crucified for the sins of the world.