Pastor's Pen: Is the rumor true?

Living in a small town it seems rumors run like wild fire.

In reality, they do everywhere but in a small town you hear a lot more of them. The possibility of rumors and gossip abound when someone finds something they don’t like, sees something they are certain means another thing is true or have a true fact that would look bad on another.

Like that guy giving samples outside the Chinese place in the mall, they provide just enough of a taste that you find yourself wanting to know more. This happens on the phone, texting, in personal conversation, in social media and pretty much everywhere people get together. How can this end?

To begin, it’s not easy. James 3 has a short essay on how “no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.”

The tongue is quite difficult to control. It’s like a wild, stubborn animal with no desire to be tamed. However, if we are “new creations” (2 Corinthians 5:17) then we should be different. The fruit we produce should look more like the fruit of the Spirit and less like the fruit of the sinful nature. And I don’t recall “gossip” being part of the fruit of the Spirit.

Our speech should encourage people to keep on walking in the faith. 1 Thessalonians 5 talks about Christ’s return, but until that time we are to “encourage one another and build each other up.”

Hebrews 3:13 tells us to “encourage oneanother daily, as long as it is called ‘Today’, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”

We, instead of gossiping, are to encourage one another to continue following Christ. Instead of putting someone down, we should encourage them. Instead of spreading rumors, we should go to the person. If someone is truly sinning, instead of talking to everyone else Matthew 18:15 says, “go and point out their fault, just between the two of you.”

Do you have a hard time escaping the lure of spreading rumors and listening to gossip?

Replace that habit with one of encouraging others in their walk with Christ and, if an issue does come up, go and patiently talk with them one-on-one. I

challenge you this week to attempt to encourage at least 3 different people each day. Lets’ live…and talk…like Christ.