Why Christians should Not engage in Gossip
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29 NIV). Also
“Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends” (Proverbs 17:9 NIV). Again, "A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much" (Proverbs 20:19 NIV). Also, "A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends" (Proverbs 16:28 NIV).
Brief Update: Brethren, you may have noticed that we updated last week's article by removing the top section of the article. Well, this was not done because what we reported was wrong, NO! we stand by our convictions, instead we were motivated by love for the body of Christ and also to avoid the spirit of bitter divisions, malicious gossip and hateful feelings. Furthermore, in the coming weeks, I will be writing an article on the spirit of divisions II and you would not want to miss it as it will be packed with experiences to help you identify the root cause of divisions and the damage it can causes to the Church as a whole.
Division Through Gossip
Coming back to today's message, In the early 1990s, I shared an apartment with about five friends who were born again. Since we were all Christians, it was not hard to get along. Our love for the Lord and the scriptures helped us maintain a caring attitude for each other. The brotherly love we exchanged for one another was genuine and uncompromising. How beautiful the innocence of those days!
This strong brotherly bond and the unity of those days were greatly envied by the devil so he ‘planted’ a gossip amongst us (Matthew 13:25). It is common practice, to infiltrate the opposing camp one needs to learn the ways and practices of the opposing side, and being unaware of this scheme, we welcomed a messenger of Satan who knew our language. Let me qualify this statement, although the Lord loved and died for all people, some through their works are children of the devil (1 John 3:9-10). With people being easy ‘prey’ and a soft target for the devil, he makes his works and personality known through people, and to identify him; there would always be an element of evil (John 8:44).
As it was, the ‘brother’ who joined our fellowship brought with him a poisoned tongue heavily filled with malicious words of slander and gossip and within a week or so, our brotherly unity and relationship greatly deteriorated with the result that we could not bear being in the same company. By being in that state, the seeds of conflict and hateful feelings had its roots in us, and this ate away whatever love and trust we had for one another. Through this experience, I learned that the unfortunate position why there are so much hatred, gossip, and slander amongst Christian, it happens because love for others became cold in us. As a result of this condition, it serves to deepen bitter rivalries and divisions amongst us.
Rebukes from the Lord to Gossipers
I don’t think there is a ministry without a gossip. There were gossips in the Old Testament (Numbers 12:1), and the Apostle’s Paul and John equally struggled and rebuked gossips (3 John 9-10; 1 Timothy 5:13). For being kind to rebuke and correct some brethren we too had slanderers and gossips amongst us. On some occasions, the Lord exposed and strongly rebuked those went around spreading malicious gossip.
Often, the Lord revealed, that the motive of the gossiper is to transfer a spirit of dislike and hate for others, with the result being that people act loveless towards the victim(s) of gossip. The intention of a gossiper is to influence another to join in to belittle and hate another person. There were specific instances, where the Lord revealed the exact scene and words said to Charis to shame the gossiper and to warn and discourage others from being a gossip.
Also, in our witchcraft article, the Lord exposed both the identity of Satan and the spirit behind the gossiping attack against our ministry. Therefore, this wave of malice, which manifests through gossip is best defeated through prayer and by ignoring it, like Daniel showed (Daniel 6:10). We are commanded to love and pray for those who persecute us through gossip (Matthew 5:44). Additionally, some would say, ‘why did you mention the names of same people in your articles, is that not gossip’? No! They were identified by the Lord to warn you against the deceitful teachings they proclaim.
Furthermore, below we will be sharing with you how malice drove some folk to succeed in a campaign of gossip. As an ingredient, gossips only needed to be motivated by a spirit of jealousy, a desire to oppress others, the pursuit of self-interest and harboring a grudge that issued from hateful feelings.
How Gossip and Slander Destroy Peace and Brotherly Unity
· When Adam and Eve dwelt peacefully in the Garden of Eden, the devil, who is the father of gossipers, he planted a seed of gossip against God’s command which led to the fall of man (Genesis 3: 3-5).
· We further see how King David’s kingdom was threatened by a spirit of gossip through Absalom, for his famous words, "… If only I were appointed a judge in the land...” led to a widespread and negative campaign of gossip against David (2 Samuel 15:4). Although Absalom’s rebellion was from God, (2 Samuel 12:11) we must understand that God withdrew His hand of protection from King David with Satan, through Absalom and others seizing the opportunity to cause division (2 Samuel 15:13; Job 1:9-10). This same spirit later possessed Sheba son of Bicri, and this threatened the stability of David’s Kingdom (2 Samuel 20:1-2).
· Likewise, Daniel’s colleagues, who were jealous of him embarked on a gossip campaign to destroy his life and career (Daniel 6:3-9). Because Daniel feared God, He would not allow such evil destroy Daniel. Instead of fighting fire with fire, Daniel did not try to defend himself; he prayed, and God rescued him and consequently punished the wicked (Daniel 6:10; 24).
· Diotrephes, a disciple who was driven by self-interest, gossiped maliciously about some of the early Apostles to draw the crowd to himself (3 John 9-10). Undoubtedly, this has become a common practice of many Christians who allowed negative feelings to ‘eat’ away love from their hearts for their fellow brethren.
Why some Christians Go from one Church to another?
I will only provide a narrow explanation based on some answers from the Lord on the above question. We have about three large books of about 188 pages with messages and visions which we received from the Lord through Charis. Additionally, we have just over 70 voice recorded visions and conversations Charis had with the Lord. Together, this makes an invaluable teaching available for the body, which we have shared and continue to share on this platform.
Now for our question above, in some of the conversations in a brief summary, the Lord said some Christians appoints themselves as leaders to control others. The Lord is not particularly pleased when Christian’s move from one Church to the other. The floor crossing to other ministries is a human factor and not from the Spirit (Ephesians 4:2-6). The Lord explained that some people feel insecure, others feel unloved, and others are attention seekers who love large gatherings to show off. Like the Pharisees, they like to pray and worship loud to draw attention to their devotion (Matthew 6:5). I am not saying making a joyful noise to the Lord is wrong (Psalm 98:4). The issue we are addressing is, is your joyful noise directed to God or to show off? Because emotionally, either motive is present. The only difference being is that God is the Judge of the real motive.
I would like to encourage those who are meeting as a small group of believers; small groups are more effective and people are often faithful in attendance and commitment. Also, having been part of small groups, I experienced that the fellowship of small groups delivers genuine and quality prayers, praises and worship to God. The move of the Spirit is evident and we often experiences the manifestation of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. It is also true that smaller groups shows active participation and renders fruitful service. We should therefore, not underestimate the power the Lord has vested in small groups, for they listens to His voice and not the dominant voices of the masses (John 10:27). He only needed Abraham to bless the world (Genesis 22:18). The Lord Jesus only needed 12 men to change the world (Mark 3:14). We don’t have time to provide more biblical examples of the effectiveness of spiritual growth and faithful service to God by a small Christian group. We also shared at length in our Introduction and how this ministry started articles, how the Lord used our small group to reach countless people. We have since maintained our faithfulness.
In contrast, having been part of larger group meetings too. I heard the reasoning of some people why they prefer larger gatherings because some reported that they are motivated by the presence of others. This, I have noticed serves as security and people often feel good to be part of such large crowds. This false sense of security might be deceptive as many people from larger church groups copy the worldly behavior and habits of others (Exodus 23:2).
Moreover, we are familiar with the influence a large crowd can have on an individual, we also know the saying, ‘All of us can’t be wrong’ (Daniel 3:7). True, but we need to be careful! The influence of a bigger crowd usually usurps and limits the individual’s decision making. Which often renders an individual the status of a follower (Acts 19:32).
In conclusion, we would like you to consider the following seven questions and look into your soul while examining yourself. Do you always feel a strong urge to speak badly about other people? Are you often irritated at others to the point of being openly impatient with them? Do you love to know what is going on in other’s private lives? Are you unable to resist a conversation that highlights negative things about other people and so you listen and nod in agreement? Do you find it easy to discuss others negatively? Are you in the habit of using the mistakes of people against them even when you said you forgave them? Do you often ask a lot of questions not out of interest but to evaluate the lives of others? If you answered yes, you might be suffering from a gossiping spirit, a hateful spirit towards others and a loveless heart for your neighbor.
For a solution, you need to repent and pursue deliverance. In our deliverance articles, we mentioned that people do not receive deliverance from a single prayer or confession, but some strongholds get broken through constant prayers, and there may be a need for fasting too (Matthew 17:21).
If you are not yet born again, please pray this
With Christ's love,