Most of us enjoy talking and sharing with our family and friends, and it’s even normal for us to pour our heart out in anguish about a situation or person that has hurt and challenged us. We’re told in James 5:16 to share with each other so that we can pray for each other, and where many of these issues remain private to the glory of God, many more become public ridicule and the targets for spreading rumors.
Christians can fall into the perils of gossiping as easily as anyone of the world when they’re not deep into the scriptures. Too often, we need to prove that we’re a good Christian, and what better way to show off our goodness than to expose someone else’s faults? By constantly pointing out another Christian’s downfalls, we build up our own SELF-esteem and that makes us appear very (self) righteous before others because, after all, we’d never do that!
We have this foolish idea within us that if we constantly expose the faults of others, we’ll stand out as the better Christian; people will look at us and say, “Oh, how that Christian is so informed and wise and living as Christ. I wish I could be like them.” The truth is we are living the opposite to Christ!
Jesus told us repeatedly to “preach the gospel”—the good news! He told us to tell everyone that He is the Son of God who came to earth as the Lamb of God, and who died on the cross and took away our sins, and who God raised from the dead and who now lives in Heaven as our Lord and Savior, and our King! He told us to spread this message of hope to everyone so they, too, could be saved and have an eternal home in Heaven with Jesus.
“And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.’”—Mark 16:15
He told us to tell the people of the world that they need to repent of their sins and turn to Jesus for salvation. He told us to correct Christians when they need it so they can live a proper Christian life. Through the scriptures, we can show God’s love and forgiveness and grace to them now so they can see the error of their way and turn to Christ for direction.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”—2 Timothy 3:16
As well, God told us that if, when attempting to correct Christians individually in a private manner, they refuse to heed to our words, that we are to present them to the elders of the church so they can step in and hopefully bring the party or parties to repentance. And if that doesn’t work, then we’re told that these individuals are to be put out of the congregation and that we should separate ourselves from them.
“Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.”—Matthew 18:15-17
But nowhere in the scriptures does it say to repeatedly gossip about them and present them to the world as backsliders. Nowhere in the scriptures does it say to constantly make conversations about them and to pass the gossip about them onto others. In fact, we’re told just the opposite. We’re told in 1 Timothy 5:13 that we are not to gossip!
“But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.”—Matthew 12:36
Sometimes we feel that we’re doing the world a great justice by constantly bringing to its attention a fallacy that we find in someone or in a specific “Christian” ministry. It’s true that both, the Christian world and the unsaved world, needs to know that there are false teachers and preachers out there, and it’s good to warn them when necessary. It’s essential that these “wolves” are exposed so that innocent people can become aware of their antics and stop following their false religion. Unfortunately, the world already has a bad opinion of Christians (whether they’re real or just proclaiming Christians), and when we spend our time running down “other Christian Ministries”, this attitude reaffirms what they already believe—that there is no unity in Christianity and so, therefore, there is either no God or many gods.
We cannot let this motive overtake us so that we make it our lifelong ministry to expose others instead of preaching the gospel.
God told us to judge the doctrines and teachers by comparing what is being taught to the scriptures. Apostle Paul told us to be like the Bereans—(Acts 17:11), and to examine what is being taught against the truth found in the Bible. We need to protect ourselves as well as others against false doctrines, but their false doctrines shouldn’t become our prime objective; preaching the Gospel is what we have ALL been called to do.
When we preach the gospel, we are not only obeying the commandment that Jesus gave to us; we are we sharing the love and grace of God with others and we are giving all the glory to God. However, when we spend all of our time criticizing others and passing along rumors, we are disobeying God and not following His commandment to preach the gospel. And this brings glory to the devil, which we shouldn’t be doing!
“For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: 11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.”—Titus 1:10-11
Christians are fighting more now than ever before to keep the love of God and the salvation message of Christ alive, and the enemy is working just as hard to destroy the Christian testimony. The world is watching and when it sees that our love and faithfulness to God prevails, it sees the hope that we have in God and many are encouraged to accept Jesus!
But when Christians fight among themselves and spend their time criticizing, judging and tearing each other down, the world watches and concludes that being a Christian is a joke. When the issues of the false preachers and prosperity teachers become the focal point of our existence to the world, it sees us as obsessed critics and it doesn’t want anything to do with God or with Christians because it brands us all as being liars and two-faced extremists. And when we spend our time spreading rumors about false leaders instead of sharing the good news, we let the world see just another piece of itself instead of the love of God that they should see through us.
And we inevitably give the glory of our labor to the devil—a glory that he loves and that he’s not going to give up without a fight. So the more we focus on attacking each other, the more power we give to him and the less of Jesus we show the world.
We need to choose today who we will serve, because how we present Christ to the world now is how Christ will reward us in the end. Being a Christian is not about us; it’s about sharing the love of God and the truth of His salvation with others. Let’s stay focused on Jesus and show the world that He is a God of love and forgiveness because if Jesus can love us enough to die in our place, the least we can do is show the world that His love is real!
“Jesus said unto him, ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’”—Matthew 22:37-40
“And He said unto them, ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.’”—Matthew 16:15-16