James 3:9-10 – Gossip: The Double-Edged Sword

Daily Devotional Bible Verses

With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. (James 3:9-10 ESV)

It would take little effort to see that gossip is a fascination among human beings. Wisdom would show us that gossip is a wellspring of contempt and destruction, but popular culture remains inordinately obsessed with it. What of Christians, though? Are we above this?

One of the strongest memories of absolute defeat in my life remains that of a time when I was the recipient of malicious and destructive gossip at the hands of a fellow parishioner. It was my first real encounter with the “Christian version” of gossip, and I was bereft and utterly confused. Gossip was not foreign to me; however, this was the first time in my life that anyone had ever co mingled a position of jealous malice and contempt with the guise of discipleship and admonishment. A small piece of truth from many years previous was mixed with lies and held over my head in an ambush-like attack. My husband rushed to my defense, and friends spread the truth, but the church “well” had been poisoned and doubt in my character was sown. I was devastated and questioned how God’s people could treat each other this way.

But, have I ever gossiped? Have I ever been fascinated with gossip? Unfortunately, I have. I’m grateful to God that He’s freed my heart from the snare of maliciousness, and that He’s blessed me with life lessons and a support group that foster my genuine humility. Still, none of us is truly immune, and we need to keep a daily watch on our hearts. “Idle gossip is the devil’s playground” isn’t a saying for no reason!

James remains one of my favorite books of the bible, because he was so inspired concerning matters like these. We would all do well to take this verse to heart:

Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (James 3:13-18 ESV)

Beloved, the next time you consider listening to gossip or, worse yet, spreading it, please come back to James’ words. God has called us to be teachable and humble, and gossip robs our heart of that position; let us instead be peacemakers.

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