Well, I hate to say this, but today I saw a Christian brother, who’s not married, do something no Christian man should ever be caught doing.
He went inside one of those swanky lingerie places.
Of course, I don’t want to gossip or spread any tales, but I thought you should know so you can pray for him.
His name is…
Think how fast a rumor like that could spread, all under the guise of a “prayer request”.
But what if the guy had a legitimate reason for being there?
Or say someone calls their pastor at 8:30 in the morning, desperately needing to talk with him, and his wife tells them he’s still in bed.
They hang up in a huff saying, “Must be nice to have such easy hours.” Then, they post the story on Facebook asking everyone to pray for their pastor; he needs a fresh anointing, and a new commitment to ministry.
What they don’t know is why he was still in bed. He’d been up all night at the hospital with a church family (happened to me one time).
Rumors have a way of becoming tumors. Gossip can do to relationships and reputations the same thing cancer can do to a body.
Rumors can kill (emotionally, anyway) people, even if the people are innocent.
And God’s little helpers think they’re doing Him and everyone a favor by sharing such information. After all, people need to know the facts if they’re to pray accurately.
If God knows all and sees all, isn’t that enough? Wouldn’t it be better to say, “Lord, we pray for so and so. We ask for Your protection upon his spirit, soul, and body. We pray what the Apostle Paul prayed for the Thessalonians; that their whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of the Lord (1 Thessalonians 5:23).”
No gossip, no rumors, and no cancer.
Check out God’s opinion of rumors:
“There are six things the Lord hates – no, seven things he detests: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family.” (Proverbs 6:16 – 6:19 NLT)
False witnesses (liars) AND those who sow discord…strife or contention. They’re in the same group as the proud and the murderers.
Spreading malicious tales, even if true, is not the way of God’s Kingdom.
Paul said, “Avoid worthless, foolish talk that only leads to more godless behavior. This kind of talk spreads like cancer…” (2 Timothy 2:16 – 2:17 NLT)
Rumors, even when proven false, can do tremendous damage; like I said, rumors can become tumors.
“Rumors are dainty morsels that sink deep into one’s heart.” (Proverbs 18:8 NLT)
If you feel you’ve got something vital to say, first think about what Paul told the Philippians.
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” (Philippians 4:8 NLT)
Is it true? Yes? Well, is it honorable? Does that bit of information build someone up, or tear them down?
“But I saw them do something terrible!”
Then talk with THEM about it.
Praise in public. Discipline in private.
Just remember: would YOU want others to give you the benefit of the doubt? Would YOU rather have someone talk with you in private if there’s something bothering them?
Go and do likewise.
Let’s cut the cancer out of the body BEFORE it has a chance to spread.