Gossip Gospel

Posted: April 4, 2012 in Uncategorized

This week is the Holy week. The week leading up to Easter Sunday. What a special time to reflect on what it really means to be a follower of Christ. I think one of the biggest problems with modern-day Christians is that we know the story of the resurrection. We have the head knowledge that Jesus died for our sins on the cross and was raised from death three days later. We’ve got it down and can recite it to anyone. Yet sometimes, we live out a faith that is only seen by our empty confessions of being born again. And the reason these confessions can at times be empty is because we have forgotten how the resurrection should affect our lives.

We can become almost prideful in patting ourselves on the back in our Christian walks. We don’t cuss, (except for made up curse words like “Oh fiddlesticks!”), we are faithful to our spouse, we dont watch rated R movies, we only listen to Christian music, and we are involved in our church. And all of these things are great. But if we are truly moved by the sacrifice Christ made on the cross, and realize that we are sinful in nature and prone to lean towards our fleshly nature, then we should all pray what David prayed to God each morning we rise.

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24.

Our pride often times gets in our way. We become so proud, start to really believe, “Im a pretty good Christian! I know God is so proud of how much I read my Bible, and how upstanding I am!”  Instead of realizing that we are all filthy sinners, and without God dwelling in us…interseeding through us, we are nothing!  The sin of pride causes us to become blind to our shortcomings, and to become judgemental of others.

Many Christians will get irate at this accusation claiming that they are not judgemental. You see, Christians dont call it being judgemental. We just call it gossip. No Christian will deny they are a sinner. Instead, they just hide their sins and thank God that they are not as bad as someone else. We compare ourselves by ourselves. And we gossip, or talk about others behind their backs, due to the sin of pride. We are so proud that we are not as bad as someone else.

And we say things like,

“Did you know he is cheating on his wife and still going to church?”

“She slept with that boy out of wedlock.”

“Can you believe she was that rude to me?”

“He thinks the world revolves around him!”

Typical gossipy language. And whats worse is that after we participate in this gossip, we usually end our conversation with something like, “They really need Jesus.” Do you see the problem here? Who did Jesus die for? Who was he resurrected for? Sinners! Who are sinners? Everybody!! That includes that man in the affair, that includes the high school girl being promiscuous! That even includes you and me!! We will talk about someone behind their back, but we are not broken hearted over their sin to the point of going directly to them in love to show them Christ! How selfish and cowardly!

The Christian band Casting Crowns recently released a song entitled, “Jesus, Friend of Sinners.” This song really moved me. Too often I think that we can listen to good Christian music without actually hearing what is being said. I want to use the remainder of this blog to break down this song and explain it. And then I’ll post the direct link to this song at the bottom of this blog. Here are the verses…..

1. “Jesus, friend of sinners, we have strayed so far away
We cut down people in your name but the sword was never ours to swing”

Through our “harmless” gossip sessions, we are passing our judgement on others. In doing this, we take God off of the throne and place ourselves as the judge. But the Bible is clear that there is only one God, one law giver, and one judge of the living and the dead. He is Jesus our Lord!

“Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?” James 4:11-12.

Lets say that you had stolen a watch from a store and were tried before a jury. The verdict was that you were sentenced to ten years in prison. Before being ushered out of the court room, you heard the judge issue another verdict to another criminal. This man had  been caught peddling illegal drugs to kids. He, like you, was sentenced to ten years in prison.

Would you have any right to judge this man for what he did? Regardless of his crime, you had both broken the law, and were to receive the same type punishment!

“All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not leading to death.” John 5:17.

What this verse says is that all sin is unrighteous. And all sinners void of repentance in Christ will spend eternity in Hell separated from God the Father. Again, who are the sinners? Everybody. We have no right to judge, because that right was never ours to begin with. We use our tongues for gossip instead of proclamation of the truth. And in this, our tongues become swords being used against those in need of Jesus.

“They sharpen their tongues like swords and aim cruel words like deadly arrows.” Psalm 64:3.

2.” Jesus, friend of sinners, the truth’s become so hard to see
The world is on their way to You but they’re tripping over me”

We are to raise up disciples of Christ. There are people everywhere that are in danger of dying and going to Hell. So do we really have time to passively engage in throwing stones at others who dont know Jesus? So then, what are we to do with those whom we used to talk about?

John 17:17  “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.”

We are to reach out to them, not drawing attention. Not bringing our own jury with us. But to bring the truth of Gods word. There is nothing wrong with reaching out to someone in the spirit of Christ. Eventually, if it takes more brothers and sisters in Christ to intercede, then so be it. But it should never be a condemning situation. It should be a truth session.

“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.” Matthew 18:15-17.

So does this mean if they continue you reject truth, we are free to judge? After all, the verse above said if they reject truth, we are to treat them as we do all non believers! So how did the apostle Paul treat non believers?

“Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.” Romans 10:1.

We are to never judge anyone, but to continue in prayer that God might save them. In the end, nothing we can do in our power can save another. We can plant seeds, but salvation comes from only the Lord. (Psalm 37:39.) If we continue on slandering others with our words, we set an unGodly example for others to think that it is acceptable to gossip. Therefore causing them to trip and stumble in their walks with Christ.

3. “Always looking around but never looking up I’m so double minded
A plank eyed saint with dirty hands and a heart divided”

We all can get so consumed in the world we live in, that we start to take our eyes off of God and begin focusing on others around us. We spend more time around the water cooler than we do in His word daily. We spend more time interested in what celebrity is cheating on who or what Batchelor is not getting a rose than we do hungering after Christ! And when we begin to look around our world more than keeping our eyes focused on Christ, we become double minded hypocrites.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:3-5.

As the song says, we become saints with planks in our own eyes as we try to point out the planks in others.

“Oh Jesus, friend of sinners
Open our eyes to the world at the end of our pointing fingers
Let our hearts be led by mercy
Help us reach with open hearts and open doors
Oh Jesus, friend of sinners, break our hearts for what breaks yours”

Someone who is lost or is living in sin is not the enemy. Yet so many times, we as Christians view them this way. Almost in a way that we look down on them. But if we are like Christ, we not only pray for the sinners, but we pray for Christ to give us his heart. Ill share something here….One of the most powerful prayers I have ever prayed to Jesus was for him to break my heart for the sin I encounter each day. First, I had to come to a point where I was broken-hearted over my own sin. And by the grace of God, three years ago, I was broken and became fully aware of the severity of my own sin and rebellion to the one who died for me.

But through this brokenness came a gift. I remember walking around in a Wal-Mart back in Georgia. And I saw these boys who were cursing and using the name of God in vain. Laughing as they did this. And it occurred to me that I was no better or worse than they were. The only difference was that I knew the savior of the world, and they didnt have a clue. And tears began to well up in my eyes. And as anguished as I was over their behavior, I was at the same time overjoyed. Because my heart was being molded to that of the heart of Jesus.

Where before I would have pointed these people out to my wife and commented on their lack of faith in God, I was now aware that there was a whole world that was sick and did not know it. And we as Christians have the cure. But its up to us to put down our judgemental fingers….and tell them. Jesus was a friend of sinners. He loved them. He prayed for them. So why should we be any different?

3. “Jesus, friend of sinners, the one who’s writing in the sand
Made the righteous turn away and the stones fall from their hands
Help us to remember we are all the least of these
Let the memory of Your mercy bring Your people to their knees
Nobody knows what we’re for only what we’re against when we judge the wounded
What if we put down our signs crossed over the lines and loved like You did”

When the religious people were ready to cast stones at the woman caught in adultery, after writing in the sand he declared that any one of them with no sin should cast the first stone. (John 8:1-30).  The result was that they dropped their stones, and walked away. If we had to pick a character that summarizes all of humanity, it would be that woman. We are all undeserving and lost in our sins. But through Christ, we have redemption. This story of Jesus mercy should bring us all to our knees over our own sin of self righteousness and pride.

I love the next line. Nobody knows what we are for, they only know what we are against when we judge or gossip about people. If you heard someone gossiping about an alcoholic, they would assume you are against alcohol. If you gossip about someone in sexual sin, to the outside world, they see you as being against that type person. But most people dont know that we are Christians unless we tell them. By our unwillingness to partake in gossip, we show that we are against judging others. It shows that we are for Christ. What would your friends think if when they began a gossip session, you told them, “We have no right to talk about this person.” What would they think if they saw Jesus in our actions pertaining to the lost?

4. “You love every lost cause; you reach for the outcast
For the leper and the lame; they’re the reason that You came
Lord I was that lost cause and I was the outcast
But you died for sinners just like me, a grateful leper at Your feet”

We are no better than the diseased leper. We are all sinners…none better than the other. And even when we accept Christ, we must remember that we were once lost. We were once outcast. And we were saved not by our own doing, but because HE changed our hearts. Christ provided salvation. He chose us out of the darkness, we didnt just find our way.

“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.”Ephesians 1:4-6.

Pray for God to examine you. Pray for him to search your soul and point out areas of sin and pride. Pray for God to completely break your heart over your own sin. And repent….completely turning from that sin that once enslaved you. And believe upon Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior, and you will find salvation. (Mark 1:15.). And pray for Christ to give you the same hurting heart that he has for the lost. Pray this everyday….and really mean what you are asking. And it will soon be impossible for you to gossip or judge others. Because you will begin to view the world through they eyes of our Father God in Heaven. Thats when you will see God working in you. Thats when the gospel explodes in your heart. And thats when the mission of reaching a lost world for the sake of Jesus Christ begins.


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