“A worthless person, a wicked man, goes about with crooked speech, winks with his eyes, signals with his feet, points with his finger, with perverted heart devises evil, continually sowing discord; therefore calamity will come upon him suddenly; in a moment he will be broken beyond healing.” Proverbs 6:12-15
“Drive out a scoffer, and strife will go out, and quarreling and abuse will cease.” Proverbs 22:10
“Those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, and a good blessing will come upon them.” Proverbs 24:25
“For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.” Proverbs 26:20
“As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.” Titus 3:10-11
Far too often gossip and sideways conversations are accepted within the church, by the family and its shepherd leaders. Our Father charts a different course. He wants these kinds of "respectable" and accepted sins rooted out, as the above passages make abundantly clear.
Ray Ortlund challenges us:
It is the responsibility of a church’s elders to monitor the conversation going on in their church and actively encourage the positive.
Sadly, some people just aren’t happy with a positive vibe. They want something else, something more focused on themselves. And they are so sure of themselves that reasonable discourse leaves them unsatisfied. They do not feel that you understand them until you agree with them. The only acceptable outcome is their outcome, which they pursue relentlessly. They will misconstrue what you say, including your attempts to be kind, and turn your good efforts into further evidence against you. They live in a mental world of “king of the hill,” and they will do what they have to, in order to win the game.
Read the whole thing >>.