You heard…

15 Sep

You heard it through the grapevine.

The latest news wasn’t about the lady sitting behind you in church Sunday morning, it was about you.

The words were far from truthful, but countless ears have already heard. You wonder what they must be thinking. You pray that this one statement doesn’t change how others feel about you.

The words themselves hurt, deeply, but nothing hurt worse than discovering where the first hint of this gossip originated. Your heart is broken and your spirit is crushed. It was someone you called a friend.

So where do you go from here?

How do you undo what has been done?

I think of David’s reaction in Psalms 55:12-14:

” For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance.  We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.”

He was devastated that this hurt came from one he trusted. His spirit was broken, and Scripture says that living with a broken spirit is a dangerous place to live. The longer we dwell on the hurt, the more likely we’ll be to stay stuck in the rut of the bitterness it causes.

 “…a broken spirit drieth the bones.”

Proverbs 17:22

Dwelling on it quickly drains us of any spiritual life we had before the hurt. It dries our bones and keeps us from moving forward in our Christian lives.

So where did David turn? How did he respond?

  “As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice. He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: for there were many with me. God shall hear…”

Psalm 55:16-19

He turned to the only place we can turn when the words and their effect cut us to the heart.

He knew that God and God, alone, was capable of using the situation and working in the heart of the one whose lips spoke the “dirt” in the first place.

As Christians, we are not exempt from the pain gossip causes. In fact being a Christian who strives to live right and please the Lord invites gossip. We are told plainly that “…all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (1 Tim. 3:12), but it is crucial that the words of gossip spoken are just that, unfounded, untrue words. We are to live above reproach, in a way that will speak louder than the words of any gossiper ever could.

Peter encourages believers to have our “conversation (or conduct) honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.” (1 Peter 2:12)

Even Paul, a model Christian, if there ever was one, found himself the target of “evil report(s).” (2 Cor. 6:8)

The key to receiving gossip God’s way is to strive to have “a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.” 1 Peter 3:16 

Unfortunately, gossip is guaranteed to affect you at some point in your life if it hasn’t already, but we can respond to it in the right spirit.

By realizing that only God can take care of it after it’s been spoken, but that only we can be responsible for living for our Lord in a way that is above it in the first place, we are responding in a way that blesses His heart and sets a good example.

If we are taking heed to ourselves, striving to love Him and please Him, we won’t be perfect, far from it, but we will know that we’ve done all we can to hold a good testimony before Christians and the lost alike.

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