Thursday is for Discipleship
It destroys love.
It destroys unity.
It harms relationships,
. sometimes beyond repair.
It creates barriers to reaching others.
It dishonors God.
It poisons work environments.
It undermines trust.
It is condemned in Scripture.
It pollutes our spirit.
And most of us tolerate it in our lives everyday.
It has to end if we want to get serious about making disciples for the Lord of Truth.
But if you and I and the church in America are going to rid ourselves of it we first need to recognize it. We have to know what the enemy is before we can defeat it. “The first rule of war” writes Matt Mitchell, “is to know your enemy.” Corporate America often calls gossip by another name, ‘triangulation’ and defines it as involving third parties in office dynamics that should be solved between workers.
What makes gossip so destructive and wrong?
Is it when it is said? Who says it? To whom it is told? We often give ourselves small passes. Gossip is okay if we’re just chatting with our wife, or sister, right? Or if we’re just “venting” to our mom or pastor, right? What is gossip, anyway? Is it always a lie? Is it always an unsubstantiated rumor? Is gossip always malicious? The line becomes increasingly fuzzy as confusion sets in about the definition of gossip. Deciding what is or isn’t gossip is certainly a challenge.
The hardest part about recognizing gossip is that it does not come with a warning label.
Matt Mitchell, Resisting Gossip, p. 21
(Christian Literature Crusade, 2013)
I am an unabashed supporter of Matt Mitchell’s new book, Resisting Gossip. Honestly, I don’t think there is a more practical book for every Christian in America to read this year than this just released book. Here’s three reasons why.
- We are being pickled in a culture of gossip. “Reality” TV shows, Celebrity intoxicated culture, Good Morning America, The Today Show (in all of its variations), The View, Entertainment Tonight, nearly everything that isn’t drama or comedy and much of comedy itself is saturated with gossip. When beautiful and attractive people are engrossed in any activity it encourages all of us behave similarly.
- The advent of social media means we are inundated with opportunity to gossip. New communication tools seem to always unleash the heart’s propensity for gossip. Facebook, BLOGS, Pinterest, Google, Pocket, Instagram, Twitter, and many more make it so easy to talk about others in ways that dishonor God and amount to nothing more than gossip.
- To both of these problems, Resisting Gossip by Matt Mitchell, diagnoses the problem and prescribes the biblical antidote both for individuals and churches in a readable and practical style filled with pastoral depth and wisdom,
Read the book on your own. Read it and study it in a group.
But read it. And then read it again, because gossip is a killer and we need to kill it for the glory of our God.
We have talked about the need to do a church wide study of the book on a semi-annual basis because we want to be known as a gossip resistant church.