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The Silent But Loud Sin
Did you hear about Jim?
Do you know what Ethel did?
Did you get wind about the trouble the Smith's oldest kid got into?
As I sat in church, I heard all this from a voice just behind me. The voice was familiar; a person that had attended the church for years. The next statement," oh, I have to go, teaching Sunday school today. Are you coming to the prayer meeting tonight?"
I started thinking about why so much attendance had dropped from the churches in the last few years.
I have heard many tell me they felt there were hypocrites within the church walls.
My mind came back to the words I had heard just minutes before and a tear slid down my cheek. At that moment, just in front of me, the two men who held the trays to collect the offerings started whispering. It was loud enough for me to hear.
"Look at that, the old drunk showed up today!", one said. "Yep, Johnny smells like a whiskey bottle again" the other said back.
I wept harder.
The organ began to play. I used my hankie to wipe the tears. I was feeling like running out, but I stayed; after all, I promised I would.
The hymns came and the voices sounded like a roaring train in my ears. I desperately wanted to leave, but the voice begged me not.
I wondered if they even knew I was here?
I heard all the gossip about him and her; them and they.
It was time! The Pastor called him to the front. My friend was about to speak. He had just come back from a long trip to the jungles of Africa. He fed hungry people and taught children about God. He spoke about his time with a people that were hungry; hungry for Jesus.
He ended his talk and I was feeling better. I had promised him I would be here.
My friend now did what I had asked him to do. He asked that question. Would anyone want to accept Jesus in their heart today?
I watched as Johnny walked with uneasy steps to the front. His eyes were welled up with tears. He smelled of alcohol from the night before, but he came to accept Jesus.
Walter Smith got up from the middle pew where he sat with his parents. Yes, he had been arrested last week for a fight he got into over a girl. He had hit the other boy with a tire iron and broke his jaw in three places. Walter was truly sorry and wanted Jesus in his heart.
Ethel Suggs arose from her chair. Ethel was known quite well by many men. She had been caught in an affair with one of the deacons that was holding one of the offering plates. Ethel had admitted she was wrong and had apologized to the deacons wife just the day before. Little did the deacon know, but divorce papers would be handed to him this coming Tuesday. Ethel knew she was wrong and was going forward seeking Jesus.
Jim Andrews, the associate pastor. No one knew, but several suspected Jim had been skimming off the offering for months. He wanted a new car and his pay just wasn't going to do it. Hearing about Africa, Jim realized he was sinning and doing wrong. He would go to the Pastor tomorrow and admit his wrong and pay the consequences. Today he would go to the front and accept grace from above.
I really wished that the ones I heard telling all those secrets would come forward.
The gossip; that terrible gossip.
The deceptive sin of gossip and they all thought it was ok.
I had known all of the stuff they had said anyway.
My friend asked them all to bow their heads and he led them in a prayer.
They asked for grace and mercy.
I took the book from inside my coat and wrote their names in it.
It was time for me.
I walked down the aisle and a little boy of two years looked at me and smiled. He looked at his mom and said "Look it's Jesus Mommy". His mom told him to be quiet and mind and I just shook my head. But at least I knew that boy would lead many my way too. That little boy's name is Eli and he would be a very strong man of God.
I laid my hand on each person that was with my friend and I told them they are forgiven. I had all ready put there names down.
My friend thanked me and back to my Father I went.I waved to little Eli as I went and he smiled and waved back. At least a few knew I was there.
Gossip is a terrible sin. It destroys people and disintegrates families and friendships.
Many people think it is ok.
Gossip is very evil! Satan thrives on it.
The Bible has many passages that are clear about the sin of gossip; here are some:
They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips,slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents;they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
A man who lacks judgment derides his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his tongue. A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.
There are more, but if you don't get it with these two, I doubt you will with any more.
Let's all think before we speak. God knows,sees and hears all. God loves all too. If you really need to tell someone something about someone else,tell it to God first.
© G,L, Boudonck