A woman in a certain village spread a slanderous story about her boss. Later she regretted it and asked his forgiveness. He said, “I forgive you but I want you to do something. I have a large bag of feathers that I want you to take to the town tower. Go to the top and scatter the feathers to the wind.” She did as he requested and returned.
He said, “Now go gather the feathers and bring them back to me.” She said, “But that’s impossible. They are scattered everywhere.” “That’s right,” he replied. “I forgive you. But remember that the false information you spread about me is scattered everywhere and it cannot be recalled.”
You can destroy a person’s reputation by sharing gossip. It’s not wrong to talk about other people—IF you follow certain guidelines. Make sure it passes 3 tests.
1. MOTIVE TEST: What is my motive in sharing this information with others?
Ask yourself why you are sharing it. Would God be pleased if you shared it? People who are jealous or envious will gossip about someone because they are insecure and are trying to destroy the person they are slandering. If your heart is pure proceed to test #2.
2. ACCURACY TEST: Have I verified that this information is accurate?
"Every fact is to be confirmed by the testimony of two or three witnesses" (2 Cor. 13:1). This is a safeguard to keep false accusations from destroying a person's reputation. Most gossip is inaccurate because it is usually started by someone who has an evil agenda. Then the information gets changed and distorted as the story goes from one person to another.
If you hear gossip about someone, be skeptical and assume it isn’t true. During a sermon I asked the congregation, “If you have heard gossip about yourself, and part or all of it wasn’t true, please raise your hand.” The entire congregation raised their hands! I told them, “Take a look at all the raised hands and remember this the next time you hear gossip about someone. You can safely assume that part or all of it isn’t true.”
3. NECESSITY TEST: Am I sharing this information with someone who actually needs to hear it? Does the listener have a real need to know the information and can help address the issue? If so, go ahead and share it. At this point, talking about the other person isn’t gossip because your motive is right, the information is true, and there is a need to know.
Scripture instructs us to not befriend a gossip. “He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets, therefore do not associate with a gossip” (Prov. 20:19). Don’t even eat lunch with a gossip because sooner or later the gossiper will be spreading rumors about you. Remember that whoever gossips to you will also gossip about you! www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com www.makinglifecount.net
NEW BIBLE STUDY: If Jesus never sinned why did He need to be baptized? He was baptized for three reasons.
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