DEALING WITH GOSSIP OR CHURCH BAD APPLES starts with you as a believer hating and exposing evil as your Savior hates and exposed it.
Gossip or bad church apples are people who concern themselves with the people of the church, not with Christ in the church. They usually form pockets of super apostles, pastors, christians, who are holy in their own eyes. To them, every other person is sinful, not connected to God, or must seek their opinion before they can see God! Fools who do not know anything about God, but seek to be recognized through trouble making, and rumor bearing. Church gossip starts when people are rejected for positions they are not qualified for, or their friends were promoted on God’s instructions. Sometimes, forming a pocket of unhappy worshipers results to; The truth is denounced, and vengeance pursued. Men became wise in their own eyes, and God demeaned as incompetent. Wow!
The entire scripture condemned gossip and refers to those that does it as ‘wicked’. “You shall not go about as a talebearer (gossip) among your people; nor shall you take a stand against the life of your neighbor: I am the Lord. (Leviticus 19:16 NKJV). Not only is this condemnation a law, it is also from God! Now I see why it happens a lot in our churches today!! Satan and his children!!!
Sometimes, our silence to some rumors is disastrous. As a christian, You must identify those that sow discord among the fellowship. Know who they are, keep record of their conduct, if possible, keep the dates, time and place. To be vindicated, call or keep a witness, or better yet, confront the gossiper. Obviously, they will not admit to it! If that is the case, counsel the gossip about the dangers of their bad habit, but in love. If they threaten you (which is usual), avoid them, and pray for them that God will touch their heart to repent. The bible says, “You shall not circulate a false report. Do not put your hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness” (Exodus 23:1 NKJV). “Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge” (James 4:11 NKJV). Any gossiper is at the edge of God’s sword. Correct them, resist being a partner in their evil, and be bold about it. For the act of your honesty, God will protect you from their wrath, but punish them for their evil. “Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, Him I will destroy; The one who has a haughty look and a proud heart, Him I will not endure” (Psalm 101:5 NKJV).
While you live a good life, do not entertain rumors, slander or gossip. Invite all involved parties and sort out the truth. The Apostle Paul was lied against, but he intrigued his defense. Do not be a banal believer, who in the name of humility, allow a gossip or any troublesome divider (or church politician) to go without a divine correction. Make sure that the truth is discovered. Peace, if possible, established, and the church healed, not divided. Also, stand on what you believe in, and say everything that you heard, or what happened without fear or favor.
The Apostle Paul said this in his defense before all his accusers; “Nobody can say they saw me arguing in the Temple or working up a crowd in the streets. Not one of their charges can be backed up with evidence or witnesses. “But I do freely admit this: In regard to the Way, which they malign as a dead-end street, I serve and worship the very same God served and worshiped by all our ancestors and embrace everything written in all our Scriptures. And I admit to living in hopeful anticipation that God will raise the dead, both the good and the bad. If that’s my crime, my accusers are just as guilty as I am. “So ask these others what crime they’ve caught me in. Don’t let them hide behind this smooth-talking Tertullus” (Acts 24:12-15, 20 MSG).
A Holy Spirit filled believer is a bold one. He/she will also hate lies. As we continue to grow as Christians, it is important for you to know the available authorities God has given to you. Use them as often as directed, especially in building up of the church. Remember that the devil does not want any church of truth built! Not one!! But Jesus said to Peter, “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this ROCK I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18 NKJV). That ROCK is the TRUTH, Jesus the Christ. The Absolute Savior who hates anything evil. As His own children and followers, we should expose any form of evil in our churches, regardless of the means it is delivered.
As we are marching into a new year, many good things have been promised to us. The key to make each and every one of them come to the physical manifestation is our obedience to the instructions of God. If you can stop one gossip, you will gain more favor. Do not let them thrive around you, but stop them with all authority. Stay focused on Christ and His Way. He instructs that you should “Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist”(Luke 21:14, 15 NKJV).
If you are a gossip, stop today, if your friend gossips a lot, correct them. In other words, avoid the smear of partaking with such a person, it only leads to loss, curse and pain. We are in the church to fellowship, not to plot and start another war. “… It is finished!” (John 19:30 NKJV).
God Bless you as you continue to change your world, one at a time. Remember, “A perverse man sows strife, And a whisperer separates the best of friends” (Proverbs 16:28 NKJV).
Scripture of the day: Too long have I lived among those who hate peace. I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war. ~ Psalm 120: 6-7 NIV
Pastor Peter Okereke Jr.
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