For the Love of Prayer or the Love of Gossip?

Paul’s warning to housewives to stop meddling in others’ business is well placed.  In 1 Timothy 5:13 he cautions Timothy from supporting young widows because it allows them too much time to be “gossips and busybodies,” but we know from the rest of Scripture (Proverbs especially) that the temptation to be gossips is not native only to young women.

I mean, after all, God does command us, explicitly and implicitly, to be involved in one
another’s lives.  A sampling:

  • In general body life: ” . . . the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through
    its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God,” Colossians 2:19.
  • In daily encouragement and rebuke: “But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that
    none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin,” Hebrews 3:13.
  • In specific prayers and requests to God: “To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for
    all the saints, and
    also for me . . .” Ephesians 6:18-19.

Yet when we look and think closely, we know that not all apparent concern is true, biblical concern.  I often overhear conversations and wonder, “Are these people genuinely concerned and prayerful over the people they’re discussing, or are they just passing the time by discussing someone else’s more interesting life?”  The truth is, only God can tell the heart, but here are some pointers:

  1. Ask yourself, “When I discuss so-and-so, it is with an attitude of looking down on their actions, marveling at their accomplishments, or thanking and praying to God?”
  2. Ask yourself, “Is my default mode of communication chit-chatting about someone else’s life?”  If so, you’re a gossip.
  3. Observe how easily you can comment, “That’s a shame,” or “How wonderful for them,” without reverencing God in your heart.

Ask yourself, “Do I love to pray for people, or gossip about people?”  And may God help us all, including me, repent.

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About B Treece
loved by God before I ever loved Him, saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone by the authority of the Bible alone to the glory of God alone, made to enjoy Him forever, happily married with wonder-filled children.

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