Sunday, February 24, 2019

Is it Gossip--or Something That Needs to be Said?

Terry always talked about Roger behind his back. I told Roger, “Terry’s always gossiping about you.” I was shocked when Roger replied, “Terry’s always gossiping about you, too!” It really is true—the person who gossips to you will also gossip about you. And this is why we shouldn’t be friends with anyone who spreads rumors. “He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets, therefore do not associate with a gossip” (Prov. 20:19).

But just because you talk about someone doesn’t mean that it’s gossip. You need to talk to and about others when corrections need to be made. Second Timothy 4:2 says to reprove, rebuke, exhort, and instruct. Sometimes it’s necessary to talk about others, but in the right way. Ask yourself these three questions.

1. What’s my motive in sharing this information? Do you want to hurt someone’s reputation? Are you trying to make yourself look better?  

2. Have I verified that the information is accurate? "Every fact is to be confirmed by the testimony of two or three witnesses" (2 Cor. 13:1). This keeps false accusations from destroying a person's reputation. Don’t believe everything you hear. A teacher sent home a note to parents on the first day of school: “If you promise not to believe everything your child says happens at school, I’ll promise not to believe everything your child says happened at home.”

Information gets twisted as it’s being passed along. I was once preaching a sermon and asked the congregation, “If you’ve ever heard gossip about yourself and at least part of it wasn’t true, please raise your hand.” The entire congregation raised their hands! I told the church, “Remember this the next time you hear a rumor. It’s probably inaccurate or not even true.”

3. Am I sharing this information with someone who needs to hear it? Is the other person part of the solution? Will everyone be better off if you don’t share it?
Remember to ask yourself these questions the next time you’re tempted to talk about someone.

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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174  Twitter: @KentCrockett