CHRISTIAN LIFE & GROWTH
Gossip and Prayer
By Desiree Angeles
The Bible considers gossip a serious offense. Romans 1:29b-32 puts gossip in the same list as "haters of God." Paul condemns gossip in 1 Timothy 5:12-13. And Proverbs 18:7-8 warns of its insidious nature. But there is a difference between gossip and sharing hardships in order to garner support and advice. To gossip is to spread lies or destructive tales about other people. But if your intentions are pure, you're just being unsure about what to do or feeling helpless with your situation.
Often, we want to share our problems with people that we think could help us find a solution. But it is also important to be wise and to carefully choose those people with whom you're going to share your secrets. Having a fellow believer is always a great help. Not only so that we have somebody to pray for us, but also to get good advice from them. But it's important to be aware of the people who're a Christian-only-by-mouth. I used to befriend a certain "Christian" before, hoping that she was a friend who could help me grow in the Spirit and give me some valuable advice. But eventually her attitude revealed her true nature. She spread lies about me and even twisted my words so others thought of me as bad. This reminds me of Bible verses 2 Timothy 3:5, Titus 1:16, and 2 Corinthians 11:13-15. In here the Lord tells us to avoid people who cause trouble by twisting words to spread lies. That is why the Lord teaches us to be wise when picking the people we are going to trust.
If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Matthew 18:15-17This verse teaches us how to deal with our brothers/sisters in faith. It says if a person has sinned against you, you should tell him or warn him first alone. But if that person doesn't listen. Then its time for you to go call one or two witnesses so that together with you, they will give him advice.
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Galatians 6:1This verse tells us that we must be patient with those who are still committing a mistake, whether he/she is a brethren or member of your immediate family.
If the offender is not a Christian, then the best thing for you is to pray for them. I know it's a bit frustrating because you might want to have a support system so you won't feel alone in this situation. But if you ask, the Holy Spirit will help you make the best prayer for them.
Yes, the Bible tells that if one or two people gathers together to pray to the Lord God, He will hear their pleas from heaven and give them the answers they need. But the most important factor is the prayer that comes from the heart. You know, there are people (some are my friends) who often ask my help to pray for a certain someone. I do pray for them from the bottom of my heart, but since I hardly knew the person they want me to pray for, I don't always know what to pray for.
Lastly, "do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother" (2 Thessalonians 3:15). We are often tempted to talk to the offender, to point out what they did wrong. But we must also remember to treat them respectfully, as if they were family. And so I must be kind and patient with my approach to them. Just like what I will going to do in front of my fellow church members.
Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 2 Timothy 4:2It isn't easy to pray for people who hurt us. It's good to seek out council and prayer to figure out how to deal with a tough situation. But consider that God may have you in this situation because this person needs prayer. It may be that God has chosen you for the job.
Image Credit: Maurice Brooks; Untitled; Creative Commons
Tags: Biblical-Truth | Christian-Life | Hardships | Personal-Relationships | Sin-Evil comments powered by Disqus