Listening to all criticism, Having the Nose for the News
These people give credence to every rumor story or criticism that springs out around them. It does not make a difference if it's true or not true because the trust relationship is automatically develop between listener and the hearer. The hearer of the gossip automatically trusts that the person saying it is right because they are their friends, or they don't care if it's true because they feel no responsibility of its truthfulness, since they did not start it in the first place. But in God eyes, it's all the same if you started it or if you spread it, the sin is the same, the damage is the same, the result is the same. The result is someone being hurt and/or driven away because of untrue slander.
The definition of gossip is simple, "Rumor or talk of a personal or sensational nature, Someone who habitually spreads sensational or intimate facts" (Webster's Dictionary)
We Christians seem to have the problem of getting stuck in our own little world. We seem to get stuck in our own mindset, where we evaluate all of our experiences including meeting people, relating to other people, and even worshiping God to our own very limited experience and way of thinking.
When we engage in this behavior we severely limit our ability to be used to bring out the gifts that Christ gave us, and let the Word of God transform us. Because we keep comparing everything to our own way of thinking and our experiences, and if something doesn't match with it, we then throw it out. And the even bigger danger is when we are young we think we know everything with out any or few experiences!
Now most Christians would never admit to doing this, because most of them do not realize they're doing it, but the result of these actions is that we do not grow spiritually or in maturity. If you are not sure you have this problem, then ask yourself this question:
Q: Do you compare your experiences to God's Word, or do you compare God's Word to your experiences?
The question is designed to focus our attention on God's Word as absolute and authoritative. That is the Bible is the final authority to all matters of faith and practice.
So if you have an experience, then we are to test it according to God's Word, and not the opposite. The opposite would be to put the focus on our experience as being normal. Thus all of our encounters in life are compared to our views and experience, and only then compared secondary to God's Word. And if God's Word is not in compliance with our experiences; then, we reject the scripture and not our experience. That is why we have so much false teaching in the church and media today. People have the natural ability due to our fallen nature, to promote our experiences over anything else, and excuse and reject what does not match, even over God's Word.
© Copyright 1992, 2000, Rev. Richard Joseph Krejcir, Into Thy Word