Choose Forgiveness, Not Gossip
By Rick Warren
“Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends” (Proverbs 17:9 NLT, second edition).
Let’s just admit it: When you have some crazy-maker in your life, and she’s (or he’s) just done the craziest thing again,it’s almost impossible not to get in the car, pull out your phone, and call somebody and say, “You won’t believe what she (or he) just did!” In fact, you may even be texting as she’s (or he’s) doing it! That’s what we do with crazy-makers. We want to tell somebody else. We want affirmation from somebody else. It’s the most difficult thing in the world to let go of it. It may feel good when we call someone to spread the word about the crazy-maker’s craziness, but it’s also unloving.
The Bible says to forgive even your enemies. Proverbs 17:9 says, “Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends” (NLT, second edition).
What is gossip? It’s sharing information with somebody who is not part of the problem or the solution. That person might not have had anything to do with the situation, but you bring her into it so you can feel better about yourself. Gossip, in its essence, is a form of retaliation. You’re getting back at someone without talking to her. Instead, you’re talking about her behind her back.
Gossip is incredibly destructive. It is destructive to churches, families, and businesses. It is destructive to your life. It tears you up. It separates the closest of friends.
The worst thing about gossip is that the crazy-maker wins! All of a sudden, that person is controlling your conversation. She’s controlling your emotions. Your whole day is about gossiping about her instead of talking about some great thing that’s happening in your life. Don’t let that person win! Don’t let the crazy-maker win by choosing gossip.
The Bible says in 1 Peter 3:9, “Do not do wrong to repay a wrong, and do not insult to repay an insult. But repay with a blessing, because you yourselves were called to do this so that you might receive a blessing” (NCV).
You can gossip and miss out on God’s blessing. Or, you can choose to have positive conversations and use words that lift others up, and, in doing so, you will receive God’s blessing on your life.
Talk It Over
- What are your strategies for avoiding or confronting gossip?
- Why do you think it is so hard to walk away from gossip?
- How can you turn gossip into a positive conversation?
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This devotional © 2016 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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