Saturday, January 22, 2011

Gossip 2

The word spin has been around for a long time. I remember, as a boy, hearing older men spinning yarns about hunting or fishing trips they had been on. Or reading stories where the author spun a story of intrigue and danger. In this case, the spinning of a story and embellishing it for effect was a good thing and kept my young mind searching to find who dun it in the mystery being described.

That kind of spinning of fables and yarns still goes on today, but there is a much more sinister kind of spin that catches our attention today. It is the kind of spin that people put on stories in order to hide the truth or to embellish the truth in a particular way. This is done either for the advantage of the speaker or his cause, or for the disadvantage of a competitor or his cause. We see it all the time in the news and when we listen to our leaders.

Because spin is everywhere in our culture it is easy for us to get caught up in our own version it. We embellish the truth here and there in order to make ourselves seem more wise, or worldly, or sophisticated, or something other than what we think we really are. Sometimes our goal is to make ourselves look better, or the one we are talking about look worse, or both.

But what we call “spin” the Bible calls a lie. When we tell a story in order to make ourselves more impressive we are lying about ourselves. We are boasting, bragging, we are puffing ourselves up. The Bible calls it an exhibition of our pride. When we spin the story about someone else the Bible calls it gossip and worse, slander.

Some people think Gossip is saying something about someone that you would be too embarrassed or timid to say to their face. But you are Gossiping when you talk about another person and the person you are talking to doesn’t have a need to know what you are talking about. If you don’t need to be talking about Bob to Suzy, you are Gossiping. You are sinning. And if you are saying things about Bob to Suzy that cause Bob’s reputation to be diminished in any way, it is slander, gossip’s close cousin. Both of these are sin.

The Bible says this about people who get caught up in this: “They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them” (Rom 1:29-32).

This reminds us to confess our sins. If you are able and inclined, please kneel before the Lord.

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