An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips there is as a burning fire. A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.
I had intended to share much news and continue the posts on the church of Laodicea, but I felt led to share a message from this morning's devotion instead. Over the last few weeks I have been studying and sharing messages on "toxic sins" that are often overlooked or ignored. Many of these sins of the flesh are so deadly that they destroy individuals, fellowships, and friendships not to mention hurting or stopping our relationship with Christ. They are actions and attitudes such as jealousy, anger, variance, unforgiveness, hatred, and prejudice to name a few. One of these poisonous transgressions is the sin of gossip--the subject of the verses above.
The English word, gossip, originated from the joining of two words: God and sibb. God? Sibb? The word "sibb" was a shortened version of the word sibling. This 14th century word linked God with a relative as a term for a woman relative who would assist in childbirth. Today, we might use the word midwife. Through the course of time the ladies gathering around the one giving birth probably had lots to discuss so the word began to be used in a more negative way. (Sorry ladies! I didn't make the word. Take comfort in knowing that men are just as guilty!) During the early 1800s the term began to be used for idle talk and groundless rumors. I wonder if this is where "God" and "sibb" were left out and replaced with other sounds?
That is exactly what gossip does! It leaves God out because God is concerned greatly with things like love and unity. You cannot be trashing your brother or sister in Christ and expect to be blessed by God. God is love and love does not run people down--it builds them up. Hate tears people down. It is kind of fitting that God and sibling are no longer discernible in this word. You lose both when you gossip! How can you prove that you love God while destroying your brothers and sisters in Christ? "If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also." 1 John 4:20-21
It is also interesting to note that the origin of gossip was associated with birth. A Spirit filled child of God is about birth and new life. They are always looking for ways to assist their siblings in Messiah to birth new works. They are concerned with life so they build others up. They want newness so they pray and encourage. Being a help in crucial times is what they long for. They wish to be a tool of God and not of the adversary. So which is it for you? Are you a Godly sibling to your spiritual family by bringing life, or are you a bringer of division and death as a gossip? Remember--it is satan that is the accuser and destroyer of the brethren. As always, the choice is yours!
"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. " Ephesians 4:29