Monday, April 14, 2014

Get Rid of Gossip

Yesterday I wrote about gossip and shared some excellent information from Maralee McKee
about how to stop gossip. I also said, "Gossip is something I hate. Gossip is not "harmless". Gossip is not something those of us who serve are okay to "participate" in. Gossip causes pain and is something we must not only be on guard for, but it is something which we must be resolute in having nothing to do with it."

I understand how it can be extremely easy to find yourself in a situation where we not only hear others gossip, but where we take part in the gossip as well. But, we must be on guard for gossip and see it for the vile and hurtful thing it is, rather than something harmless which everyone does. When we allow gossip to be part of what we and our ministry does, we will have ministries which cause damage.

In the past I was at a church where the pastor in charge of the children's ministry not only listened to gossip, but he justified doing so as, "part of his job". He mistakenly thought it was acceptable for him to listen to gossip because as a pastor he thought he should be hearing what others had to say. Sadly, he allowed gossip to form his opinions of others and then he spread the gossip. As you might suspect, this caused significant damage because when he, as a pastor, said something about someone else, others believed him; even when what he said was not the truth.

Whether we are the pastor, children's director or a volunteer in the children's ministry, we absolutely must have a zero tolerance for gossip. We must see it for the vile and hurtful thing it is. We must be absolutely committed to not only be a person who does not speak and spread gossip, but to also be a person who does not listen to gossip for the following reasons . . . 
  • If we participate in gossip, we will be disobeying God.
  • If we participate in gossip, the people in our ministries will rightfully, not be able to trust us. 
  • If we participate in gossip, our ministries will be ineffective because, how can God bless a ministry which is infested by gossip. 
  • If we participate in gossip, we will not be able to help children learn to see gossip as God does; as something He does not want us to do. 
  • If we participate in gossip, our ministry will not be a safe place for volunteers. 
  • If we participate in gossip, we will also have problems with disunity. 
Gossip in not harmless; it will damage your ministry. Spend time with God and ask Him to show you where gossip has made its way into your life. Ask God for forgiveness and for His help in eradicating every trace of it from you. Where you have gossiped, go to those who heard you and ask for their forgiveness. Ask also for forgiveness from those who you have gossiped about. Commit to be a person who does not gossip and who does not listen to gossip. Then be on guard for it so whenever it shows up in your ministry, you are quick to get rid of it.

How do you keep watch for gossip?

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