The Key Word

OCTOBER 20

MATTHEW 7:12_Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them…

Matthew 18:15 (KJV), “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.” In this example a trespass has been committed—someone has trespassed into your life. What is the key word in this verse which can keep you from falling into the gossip pit? Did you say alone? You got it!  The verse does not say spread the news around the whole neighborhood, or church. Deal with it between the two of you. Tell how you’ve been offended.

If private conversation has not resolved the problem you may need to take a couple of people with you to serve as witnesses to the conversation. If that doesn’t work, Jesus says for the two of you to take the matter before your church leaders. Let them resolve the issue. In neither of these cases are you advised to spread the offense outside of Jesus’ set boundaries.

Hopefully, a private conversation can resolve a personal offense. Often offenses are unintentional. You don’t always know how others may perceive what you say. 

Talk about it.

PRAYER

Holy Jesus, Help me learn to speak carefully and not offend others. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                 

Christ set boundaries for offenses – I will not cross them!

Wrong!

OCTOBER 19

MATTHEW 7:12_Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them…

What’s in your heart is seen in your actions and heard in your words. If you find any kind of pleasure in hurting people, your heart is showing. If you receive some kind of power surge in causing someone to cry, your heart is showing.

Let’s use the adulteress woman we previously studied as an example. Is it your duty to spread the news around as to what she had done—caught in the act no less? After all, everyone needs to know. And it’s true, so that means it’s not gossip, right? Wrong! If it’s true may keep it from being slander, but does not keep it from being gossip.

Gossip is spreading news which may be factual and true with someone who is not involved in the issue. Gossip spreads harmful information with the objective of exposing someone else’s failures, or traits. 

If there is a situation that needs to be discussed, all involved should be present for the discussion. Behind the back discussions are never good. Regardless of truth or facts, motives and intentions are something the accused should be allowed to speak for themselves. 

As gossip spreads, generally the more it is exaggerated.  

PRAYER

Merciful Jesus, Help me know when to keep my mouth shut! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                 

Christ knows the true facts – I don’t need to tell others!

A Destructive Weapon

OCTOBER 18

MATTHEW 7:12_Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them…

Jesus leaves no room to pick and choose when it comes to how you should treat people. It’s just like Him to say all things. You can wiggle and squirm, but you can’t get past all things. This principle is like the judgment boomerang—only dish out what you would want dished to you.

Here’s an example. This is something most people do without thinking, and would never call it by its name. Yet, it is one of the most destructive weapons in any relationship, at any age, or stage of life. Gossip!

Stop and ask yourself, would you want someone to gossip about you? Then ask yourself if you gossip about others. Take physical features for example. Do you talk about, criticize, or make fun of the physical features of others behind their back? Perhaps the one you are (let’s go ahead and say it) gossiping about has some kind of defect. For whatever reason, you just feel like it is your duty to spread the news around. But then of course, maybe you were born beautiful. Somehow that justifies your gossip.

Perhaps you have a defect that, though it is not physical, it is just as easily seen—time for a heart exam.   

PRAYER

God of Heaven and Earth, Help me treat others as I want to be treated. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                 

Christ treats me with compassion—He teaches me how!