Right now I’m sitting in a coffee shop drinking my venti-iced-decaf-americano with 2 pumps of white mocha, soy, and lite ice. I can’t have caffeine, but I love the taste of coffee, so I’m that silly person that orders decaf in the morning. Next to me are a couple girls wearing cute outfits, chatting, sipping on coffee, and working on homework. I’m sure this is happening in coffee shops all over the country right now. Unfortunately, I bet that like the girls next to me, lots of girl friends out at coffee shops right now are gossiping. I’m not immune to this; I’ll be the first to admit that when I go out to coffee with a friend, the conversation frequently drifts to what she was wearing, whom he hung out with, or what she did. In the moment, it usually just feels normal and natural. Besides, I may reason, everyone does it, and “she” isn’t here. I don’t usually consider the detrimental affects this sort of conversation can have both within our relationships with others and spiritually. However, when God pricks my heart, or someone who knows “her” hears, I am reminded. God cares so much that we refrain from gossip that he warned us of its effects in His Word:
“A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of friends.”
Proverbs 16:28 (NLT)
“If you claim to be religious but don't control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.”
James 1:26 (NLT)
Not only did He instruct us to refrain from gossip, but he also taught us how we should conduct our mouths instead:
“Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies.”
Psalm 34:13 (NIV)
“So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
1 Corinthians 10:31 (NLT)
“Do to others as you would like them to do to you.”
Luke 6:31 (NLT)
Read these verses a couple times. Let them really sink in and influence how you speak today. Something I like to do to really personalize it is to pray scripture back to God. In fact as I found these scriptures to share with you girls today, I did just that. Here are a couple examples:
“God, please give me the self-control today to keep my tongue from evil and my lips from speaking lies. Rather let my words be spoken in love.”
“Whether I am eating, drinking, talking, or whatever I do today, Lord, help me to do it all to Your glory.”
I know that sometimes it’s hard to translate the words of scripture to our daily lives, so let me explain how you can practically live out the message of these verses. Psalm 34:13 instructs us to keep our tongue from speaking evil or lying. When we speak negatively about someone, that is evil language coming out of our mouths! In Matthew 12:34 Jesus says that we speak out of the overflow of our hearts. Therefore, when we gossip we are reflecting evil in our hearts! We may not think we’re lying when we gossip, but sometimes the stories we spread through gossip aren’t even true. If one of my friends heard from her friend that “she” did “that,” I cannot know if it is even true. Therefore, not only am I gossiping about someone by telling my friend, but I may not even be telling a true story!
1 Corinthians 10:31 commands us to do everything to the glory of Jesus.
This isn’t just referring to when you volunteer somewhere or go on a mission trip; this verse tells us to do absolutely everything to the glory of Jesus. That means that when I am talking to my friends between classes, sending a text, or listening to the radio, I need to be doing so to the glory of God. Does gossip bring glory to God? According to these verses, absolutely not! If you’re ever wondering if what you’re about to say or the movie you’re watching brings glory to God, you can ask yourself, “Would I do/say/watch this if Jesus were with me?” I find that this question can be very revealing of how many things I do that do not bring him glory Gossip doesn’t just hurt the person you are talking about; it hurts you. It impacts your relationship with God and people. God clearly commands us to keep our mouths from gossiping. Therefore, when we do we are sinning against God. But do not be discouraged! God is ready and waiting for you to run to him in repentance so that he may forgive you! No matter how many times you’ve failed to follow this command, and believe me ladies I’ve gossiped plenty of times, God is always just as ready to forgive you!
Please do not be discouraged or hide your sin from God. He loves you more than you could ever imagine, and he has given us such enormous gifts of forgiveness and a personal relationship with Him! No matter how fun it may be to gossip with your friends, or no matter how awkward you may feel asking them to stop, God is so much bigger and better! Find freedom in his forgiveness and love today.
Written by: Emily