Rumors. Gossip. Lies. Oh, the destruction done to so many lives because of the lies spread about and believed!

Proverbs 18:8 (NKJV) The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, And they go down into the inmost body.

Mark Twain once said, “A lie can travel halfway round the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” Now with the advent of social media, a lie can travel around the world multiple times and be heard by millions of people before the truth has even woken up out of its restful sleep.  We live in a time when evil is called good and good is called evil. Lying has become the norm, and is often on the lips of those who want to do serious harm.

While we understand rumors and gossip to be in our culture, why are they so common among those who call upon the name of Christ? Why have you been the target of rumors? Why have you participated in gossip?

Proverbs 16:28 (NLT) A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of friends.

Discouragement is tied together with lies. The last place you’d expect to have discouragement is among the brethren, the family of God. But there are those who have compromised their faith and love to talk about others. The very people that we would normally expect to lift us up in tough times, to help us, to encourage us, to bear burdens together are instead living in compromise and thus being used to discourage you!

J. Sidlow Baxter put it this way, ““If Satan cannot ruin a work for Christ today by ‘much rubbish’ or by ‘fear’ or one sort or antoher, he will try to do so through self-seeking and other wrong motives between Christian and Christian. He will seize on every possible circumstance to provoke this; and his heart-rending success is known in earth and heaven! How disheartened Nehemiah must have been! And how disheartened many a godly minister is today when he finds that even among his keenest and ablest workers there are wrong motives and feelings which thwart blessing and frustrate revival despite all the praying and working.”

Because rumors are common. Because gossip is all around us. Because likes sometimes are about you and especially because sometimes they come to your ears, I want to plead with you not to believe everything you hear about a brother, a sister, a Christian leader, a pastor, an overseer.  If at all possible, choose not to hear or listen to them at all.

But if you have already heard some juicy piece of gossip, before you believe it do a few things.

Of course, the real counsel is to shut it down right away!  Tell the gossip to stop. You don’t want to be defiled. Tell them!

#1 – Spiritually consider the Source. A person who is known to gossip, is probably gossiping again.

#2 – Spiritually consider the Information. You know it doesn’t sound right but you are intrigued that maybe, sort of, kind of it might be true). We aren’t clinging to maybe’s but for sures!  Only the truth matters.

#3 – Spiritually consider the Word of God. Don’t accept any accusation until and after you have consulted God’s Word.

#4 – Spiritually consider the matter in prayer. Don’t accept any accusation without saturating your life in prayer.

#5 – Spiritually consider what the person being talked about has to say!!! (Take time to talk to the person and get their side of story right away. Do it while the person that is spreading that nonsense is in front of you if possible. You may even want to ask them if you can get the person on the phone and let’s talk about this together!)

Prov 18:17 (NKJV) The first one to plead his cause seems right, Until his neighbor comes and examines him.

Prov 18:17 (NLT) Any story sounds true until someone sets the record straight.

Then make up your mind and respond accordingly. Otherwise you may open yourself up to be used on the wrong side!

Most of the time, by carefully considering these things, you will find the Lord protecting you and your relationships.

By the way, you’ll also notice people won’t come to you with gossip anymore! YES!