Recently, my heart, and stomach, were sick for the church. Gut wrenching, throw up kind of sick. I fear that there is a disease going on – and it’s root is strong and poisonous. We are busy playing
Recently, I had traveled with my oldest daughter to a christian convention for teenagers. While she was off participating in her different activities, I had the opportunity to sit in a coffee shop like area. I thought it would be a great time to work on some writing – I have a couple books I am hoping to release as well as blog post that are always needing to be written! So, I grabbed a cup of coffee, my laptop, found a seat with a view and settled in. A writers dream right? Wrong. Sadly, I was so wrong.
Within minutes, a couple joined me. They were not a married couple, but two chaperones, from another church. At first, their chatter didn’t bother me much, but then, the topic of conversation changed. It was obvious from their conversation that they were in leadership in their church – and that was the direction that their conversation quickly steered.
I got up, in hopes of finding a new spot to write. To read. To get away from overhearing a conversation that wasn’t meant for my ears. However, I quickly found I was out of options. There were no other seats available – except the one I had just vacated. Oh why had I left me headphones at home!
I returned to my seat, and tried to quickly engage myself in something – anything to keep my mind busy. However, no matter what I did, I could not turn off the chatter beside me. It kept getting louder. The lady announced that she knew she was a busy body. Well, great. Thanks for sharing! She then went on to share all of their churches inner drama. Now, don’t get me wrong. I know there are no perfect churches. They are filled with imperfect people- and I am chief! However, I soon was able to learn about this congregations every fault. It went from family drama, to the way the church was run, to the Pastoral Staff.
I wanted to speak up. I wanted to ask them to change their conversation. However, right about the time I went to do so, I felt the Lord leading me to keep my mouth shut- for the time. You see, I knew I was only going to start a scene. I could share scripture with them, I could ask them to stop. Yet, it wasn’t going to stop the destruction happening beside me. It would only change the tone of the conversation to hushed secrets, or the location – where someone else might have to hear it. Yes, the Lord told me to be silent.
I have sat in silence over this matter for almost 6 months. Yet, the venom of that conversation has come up time and time again. I have kept the scene to myself – because I did not want to be the source of more gossip. Yet, last week, after a time of sharing with my teenager about the effects of gossip, I felt like it was time to share the story, in hopes that someone will openly read and be receptive to the words I have to share.
That day, my heart was broken for the congregation that those people had come from. Again, I know that there is no perfect church. However, there is danger in conversations like the one I heard.
1) It is Gossip – That is the flat out truth. When you are sharing something that isn’t yours to share, or that puts someone else in a negative light- that is called gossip, or slander. There are tons of verses in the Bible that talk about not being a slander or a back bitter. Yet ,we still feel the need to use our words in that way. If you struggle with saying things that are not edifying- I encourage you to read the book of Proverbs, with a red pencil. Circle every verse that talks about gossip or the tongue. Memorize 7 – one for each day of the week. We have all struggled in this area if we are honest (especially as women) – yet it is an area that we can, with the help of the Holy Spirit, control.
2) It shows a lack of Trust – When we speak negative about our church or the leadership in a church, we are showing that we don’t trust God. Either we don’t trust Him to move us to a church where we can be in agreement with the leadership – or we don’t trust Him to use the leadership at our current church the right way. We need to trust God in the midst of where He has us planted. This is especially true if we are part of that leadership. Others are watching our words and our attitudes.
3) We are the Bride of Christ- We are all part of the the Church- the Bride of Christ. When we speak negatively against one another, it is like speaking ugly about one of our own body parts. We need to strive to be beautiful for Christ – and that means, loving our whole body!
4) God doesn’t get Glory- When we speak against GOD’S CHURCH (because here is a reality check – it is HIS church) we are ROBBING HIM OF THE GLORY HE DESERVES! That makes me sick. Instead of bringing God glory, we are taking away from it.
5) It isn’t welcoming- We are to be a friendly place to invite the lost. If our church is negative and full of gossip – it isn’t the place we need to bring the lost. They can find that kind of care in the world. Sadly, they might even be treated better.
Church, we need to rise up. We need to guard our mouths, our ears, our minds and our hearts. When we hear gossip, we are allowing it to plant seeds of doubt, dissatisfaction, and ugliness in our lives and in our minds and hearts. We need to protect and guard our church -and our Pastor (and their wives)! I know they are sinners- and they will fail. I have been there, and seen some hard falls. Yet, it is not our place to judge. If you feel like there is something wrong in your body – take it to the right people, in the right way. This way, you can keep yourself blameless in the situation, and you will bring glory to God for the way you handled it!
Worshiping With My Life,