When a person walks up to you and begins their conversation with:
“Have you heard?”
“Guess what, I heard…”
“Can you believe they…”
“Between you and me…”
“I don’t want to start anything, but…”
RUN from this conversation for evil prompts the beginning of gossip and slander with these very words. Evil loves to play games with our minds. Unsuspecting people are thrown off track by the gossip. The work of God is hindered, not stopped, but hindered. Our gossip, (yes, I own this sin, too), breaks God’s heart. This tired tool of limited but destructive power of evil is always meant to do harm and cast questionable doubt in the Body of Christ. Believers and nonbelievers all fall for it. It’s time to run from it…
Oh Lord lead us from this temptation and deliver us from evil.” In Jesus Name, Amen!
Don’t begin or enter in to a “whispering campaign” meant to destroy a person and the work God is doing in and through them. God sees our hearts, all hearts. His work of helping people find and follow Jesus, His Son so that a pure, holy relationship can be had between God and mankind will be done no matter what. Our daily goal should be to get out of the way of God’s work in the lives of His people. We get in the way when we gossip.
Learn from the tenaciously focused! You will notice in this passage that Paul and Barnabas have learned as leaders to ignore the whispering campaigns! They are continually and keenly focused on Jesus and His Message. The Message is preached no matter what. Whispering campaigns do not stop them. Beatings do not stop them! “The two apostles were there a long time, speaking freely, openly, and confidently as they presented the clear evidence of God’s gifts, God corroborating their work with miracles and wonders.”
Dear Friends, Believers working together in the Body of Christ (the church), let us not enter into whispering campaigns, instead let us encourage each other. We NEED each other! It is not surprising that Paul, who endured and suffered in doing the work of the Lord, in His Name, all for His glory, would continually urge the church to encourage each other. Paul knew gossip maims and often kills relationships within the Body. In fact, there are over a hundred verses in the Bible about encouraging each other…below are a few to get us started.
Let us avoid whispering campaigns. Instead, let’s boldly and consistently turn our conversations to good, in Jesus Name, for His glory. When we put Jesus into our talk and take ourselves out, God smiles. He loves for His kids to get along!
1 Thessalonians 4:18
Therefore comfort one another with these words.
That I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine.
But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
HERE’S WHAT TO THINK AND HOW TO PRAY…
An Encouragement for Prayer
“Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains. Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should.
Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.” Paul to the Colossians 4:2-6, NLT
ACTS—God’s Actions through His Disciples
Acts 14:1-7, The Message
1-3 When they got to Iconium they went, as they always did, to the meeting place of the Jews and gave their message. The Message convinced both Jews and non-Jews—and not just a few, either. But the unbelieving Jews worked up a whispering campaign against Paul and Barnabas, sowing mistrust and suspicion in the minds of the people in the street. The two apostles were there a long time, speaking freely, openly, and confidently as they presented the clear evidence of God’s gifts, God corroborating their work with miracles and wonders.
4-7 But then there was a split in public opinion, some siding with the Jews, some with the apostles. One day, learning that both the Jews and non-Jews had been organized by their leaders to beat them up, they escaped as best they could to the next towns—Lyconia, Lystra, Derbe, and that neighborhood—but then were right back at it again, getting out the Message. (Emphasis mine)
I repent of entering into or beginning any whispering conversation that would hurt another brother or sister and hinder your work within us and through us. Deliver me from this evil that entraps us. Help me to run from this temptation! Show me Your ways and I will walk on that path. Teach me. I know you are not finished with me yet!
In Jesus Name, For Your Glory, Amen. I believe.