The Journey Thoughts

October 4, 2016

There is one thing that causes a lot of friction among people, and
Christians are not immune from it.  It is called gossip.  Proverbs says,
"Whoever conceals an offense promotes love, but whoever gossips about it
separates friends." 17:9  We, at times, think that we are to be so
transparent that we speak all truth, even if it hurts, but are we not to
consider causing pain to another?  I think every one of us have been the
recipient of gossip at one time or another, and surely every one of us has
been the perpetrator of gossip at one time or another.  I wonder as we look
back, how did we feel at the time either way.   It does one more thing, in
that gossip promotes bad thinking, for when a person gossips about another,
and that person hears the gossip, will he not believe it and start thinking
bad, either about himself, or those who hurl the gossip.  Ephesians tells
us: "No foul language is to come from your mouth, but only what is good for
building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear."
Ephesians 5:29 Foul language is not only cussing, but it is spreading
thoughts that may or may not be true, but  it's what was heard, so it
probably is true, and therefore, worth sharing.  The question remains, 'Did
it build up another, or did it separate a friend?'  I don't like to hear
things that are told to me by a third party about someone that said
something either about me, or concerning me.  Well-wishers, want us to be
informed, but after I hear something like that, I do not feel better, but
actually feel worse. I try not to form an opinion, about what was said, or
who said it, but I must tell you that deep inside, it hurts.  That's why for
me, I have to go pretty quickly to the person who supposedly made the
statement, so that I can hear directly if this is true or not true.   I
wished that all could or would not listen to gossip for it does nothing to
build up another, and does everything to separate.  Are we to be promoters
of the Love of God found in Christ?  Do we not have the Holy Spirit within
us teaching us what this love is all about? We have to be better about that,
and we can only be better if we know, in love, that we may very well be the
perpetrators of gossip, or at the very least, enabling others to be
gossipers.  But what if we all stopped listening to gossip? What if we
started hearing something as gossip but immediately stopped the person
telling us, and said we do not want to hear things that have not been
substantiated by fact.  And if something is said as fact, doesn't that
person deserve to have the gossip that was started, to be stopped before it
becomes a story that affects all who hear.  These are things that separate
friendships rather than build them up.  James tells us that: "If anyone
thinks he is religious without controlling his tongue, then his religion is
useless and he deceives himself." James 1:26  So listen, if we cannot be
part of the solution to help others live the faith that is given us through
Christ, then we are part of the problem of why we are called hypocrites.
It's a good day to start watching what it is we say, and about whom we say
it.  Is it important information that needs to be passed on so that it will
build up the body?  If not, then it probably does not need to be said.  Does
information that may be hurtful to another, cause our own heart to be filled
with joy, or is our heart uneasy because of what we just heard or said?
And then let's start by truly loving our brothers and sisters in Christ, so
that our love for them will only bring out a  good conversation about them,
and conceal any other thing that does not need to be promoted for the sake
of love.

Pastor Andy

Heavenly Father, forgive us for the times we promote gossip instead of
working to do away with it.  Help us, Lord, to speak only those things that
come from a heart of love toward others. I pray today Lord for all of us who
need to control our tongue, and we need Your help to do it.  I also pray for
those who find it hard to pray for themselves.  I lift to You: Mike and his
sisters, Gus who is having a procedure done, a young mother who delivered a
premature baby, and the baby is still in the hospital.  I pray for Don,
Lynn, Dwight, Sammi, the Foster, Reed, Fuqua, families in their time of
need.  I pray for Terry and his dad, Tim and his mother, Shelly and her mom,
Pam and her son, Richard and his father, Kelly and her son, Julissa and her
friend, Angie, Isabel, Vanessa, Malachi, Corbin, Ryan, Olivia, Jeremiah,
this missing girl from Saginaw, Joanna, Tom, Evelyn, Joy, Ruth, Robbie, Ada,
Nada, JV, Nancy, Betty H., Ben and his family, the Briggs church, Ben
Ramona, Tracy, Abraham, Elijah, Japheth, Jeff, Laura, Mike, Megan, Matt,
Liz, Matt, Bethany, Tim, Michelle, Carmello, Kaitlyn, Tonia, Todd, Liam,
Aiden, Jackie Ann, Pastor Berkey, Adrian, Alan, Fisher, Tuly, Betsy, Tyler,
Kristen, Trevor, Maria, Choya, Alex, Ken, Eric, Sandy, Andrea, Shannon,
Robert, Pat, Ryan, Tyson, Wendy, Montella, Joyce, Betty, David, Phyllis,
Devon, Cindy, Barbara, Terri, Marliana, Loren, Cynthia, Bill, Carolyn, BJ,
Ida, Barry, Johnny, Annette, Kim, Gary, Gavin, Shawn, Laurie, Heather, Codi,
Ron, Deane, Dan, Rheba, Pam, Mike, Austin, Harriet, Lisa, Alice, Dotty,
Fred, Mike S., James, Scott, April, Craig, Betty, Hunter, Asher, Lynette,
Kathy, Jennifer, Patrick, Candace, Abe, Trent, Garret, Mayeaux, Ben, Jason,
Ashley, Marc, Macy, Jade, Bob, Lisa.   May all of these be built up today,
and become a sweet sound in Your ear, for I ask it in Jesus name. Amen

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