“The Heart that Wags the Tongue: Gossip among God’s People”

I have been preaching through the various fruits of the Spirit from Galatians 5:16-26. This past Sunday I preached on the fruit of self-control in two parts. In the afternoon sermon I focused on one important area where we all need to grow in self-control, namely the taming our tongues from James 3:1-12. In that passage James highlights the fact that our tongues are disproportionately influential compared to the rest of our body parts and that because the tongue holds so much potential power for harm, we dare not neglect the discipline of guarding our speech. And one kind of evil speech that we often struggle with, women AND men, is gossip. I addressed this to some extent in my sermon and I quoted from an article on gossip (that I found in the Journal of Biblical Counseling) in order to help God’s people determine when something is gossip. I also said I would post the rest of the article on-line when I got a chance and so here it is: “The Heart that Wags the Tongue: Gossip among God’s People”, by Brenda Payne. I found it very helpful not only because it highlighted the Bible’s view of gossip from all of the Scriptures, but especially because Payne helps us to see when talking about someone behind their back becomes gossip and how we need to seek God’s grace and strength to fight against this kind of evil speech. May this article help you to pray and live, by God’s grace, the words of Psalm 141:3: “Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!”

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