OceanSide church of Christ
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THERE ARE WHISPERINGS IN THE CHURCH:
The Evils of Gossip
Victor M. Eskew
A. Even though the church is composed of the redeemed, it is not composed of perfect people.
B. Those in the world will often remind us of this fact.
1. There are hypocrites in the church.
2. There are sinners just like me in that church.
3. There is an adulterer in the church.
4. There is a liar in the church.
C. Most Christians realize that we are to do our best to live a godly, righteous, and holy life.
1. For the most part, we would never commit the “big” sins.
2. However, it is much more difficult to keep from committing the “little” sins.
D. One of those “little” sins is called “gossip.”
1. Definition: idle talk or rumor, especially about the personal or private affairs of another
2. Synonyms: slander, rumors, back-biting, tale bearing, whispering, meddling, busy-body, evil surmising, false witness, chatter, small talk, digging up dirt, scuttlebutt, dirty laundry, babble, back-fence talk, beauty shop talk, defamation
3. We call gossip a sin because the Bible plainly condemns it.
a. Leviticus 19:16
Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among they people…
b. Proverbs 10:18
He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool.
c. In Romans 1:29-31, Paul lists many of the sins committed by the Gentiles. The eleventh word on the list is “whisperers.”
d. Ephesians 4:31
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice.
e. I Timothy 5:13
And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.
E. The title of our lesson is: “There Are Whisperings in the church: The Evils of Gossip.”
I. GOSSIP VIOLATES THE WILL OF GOD
A. We have already read five passages that condemn gossip, tale bearing, whispering, evil speaking, and tattling.
B. When God says don’t do something and we go ahead and do it, that is sin (I John 3:4).
Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
II. GOSSIP SPREADS LIES
A. There are many times when the things that a gossip disseminates to others is not true.
B. Upon hearing about the gossip that was spread about him, one man said: “Gossip, as usual, one third right and two thirds wrong.”
C. The Bible plainly forbids us from lying about and to one another.
1. Ephesians 4:25
Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another.
2. Colossians 3:9
Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds.
III. GOSSIP BREAKS TRUST
A. The very essence of a relationship is trust.
1. Trust involves putting one’s care into the hands of another.
2. When a person gossips about another, he manifests that he does not truly care about the person he/she talks about.
B. The one who is gossiped about feels much like David when he was betrayed by his good friend (Ps. 41:9).
Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.
IV. GOSSIP DESTROYS RELATIONSHIPS
A. Two verses:
1. Proverbs 16:28
A forward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.
2. Proverbs 17:9
He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.
B. If you gossip about me, it is hard to be a friend because of the trust issues involved.
C. If you gossip to another about me, you could separate me from that person because of the message that you deliver to him.
V. GOSSIP PROMOTES STRIFE
A. Strife is defined as contention, discord, fighting, bickering, brawling, and discord.
B. In Galatians 5:20, it is listed as one of the works of the flesh.
C. Proverbs 26:20
Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no tale bearer, the strife ceaseth.
VI. GOSSIP MANIFESTS A LACK OF SELF-CONTROL
A. Self-control, or, temperance, is one of the Christian graces we are supposed to add to our lives (II Pet. 1:5-6).
And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance…
B. Part of self-control is one’s ability to harness his tongue.
1. Proverbs 10:19
In a multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.
2. James 1:26
If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his heart, this man’s religion is vain.
VII. GOSSIP DESROYS ONE’S CHARACTER
A. A person can be knowledgeable and active in the church, but being known as a gossip destroys the person’s character.
B. It is the thing that defines the individual.
1. She is nice and kind and does a lot of good, but be careful. She is a gossip.
2. He is a good teacher and helps a lot of people, but be careful. He likes to talk about others behind their back.
C. I find it interesting that the word “devil” is defined as slanderer.
1. The devil seeks to slander us before God.
2. Those who enjoy slandering others, are like their father the devil.
VIII. GOSSIP UNDERMINES AUTHORITY
A. God is the one who places all those in authority in their positions (Rom. 13:1; Acts 20:28).
B. If these men are qualified and godly men, they should be respected and followed (Heb. 13:17).
C. Gossip undermines their authority.
1. Spreads doubt about their wisdom.
2. Causes others to ridicule them.
3. Sets up groups against them.
4. Devises plans to oppose them.
D. Psalm 52:2-4
Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully. Thou lovest evil more than good; and lying rather than to speak righteousness. Thou lovest all devouring words, O thou deceitful tongue.
IX. GOSSIP WILL CAUSE THE LOSS OF ONE’S SOUL
A. It is difficult for us to realize just how evil gossip is.
1. We rationalize gossip by saying that we do it for another’s good.
2. We justify gossip by telling ourselves that others need to know.
3. We ease our conscience about gossip by believing it is not that bad.
B. We must remember that the word “whisperers” is found in the list of sins practiced by the Gentiles in Romans 1:29.
1. Definition: a slanderer, one who makes false and malicious statements about others, one who seeks out and defames the innocent
2. Listen to Paul’s conclusion in Romans 1:32.
Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death…
A. It seems that gossip, even though condemned in the Scriptures, is found in every congregation of the Lord’s people.
1. There is usually a circle of people that make up the gossip clique.
2. Sadly, we have gossip that goes on here in this congregation.
a. There is gossip about people, about works of the church, and about the decisions of the elders.
b. I have been shocked on two occasions about gossip that was spread within the church.
1) One person asked me about something that happened at OceanSide while in rehab.
2) Another person told me something that was about to happen and was a shut-in.
3. NOTE: These things ought not to be. Every member of the church should make this resolution: “I will not spread gossip. I will not listen to gossip.”
B. Luke 12:2-3
For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in the closet shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.