The Remedy for Gossip

By John Thiel, Audio: The Remedy for Gossip

Does your soul become thrilled through and through every time you hear the name of Jesus?  The only way in which this can happen is when we discover our wretchedness and His amazing love towards a wretch like me.  When we realise this it sends a thrill through our soul because we discover the amazing physician that could heal a sin wrecked being.  That is why Jesus spoke about the publican and the Pharisee. The one who went away was the Pharisee.  Why didn’t the publican go away? The publican remained with Jesus because he was a sinner and he knew it and he accepted the blessings of God. The Pharisee on the other hand thought he was alright and because he thought he was alright, he could not sense that amazing love that God had for him.  Humanity is sin sick.  A deadly malady is upon the human race and only those who know this will seek for the remedy, the physician. A description is made of the condition of Gods church and the world. God is speaking to his own people who were under the prophet Isaiah.  In verse 4 he mentions our sinful nature – a people laden with iniquity.

Isaiah 1:4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. 5 Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. 6 From the sole of the foot even unto the head [there is] no soundness in it; [but] wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.

This is God’s vision of the human family. There needs to be a remedy for this condition.  Where can we find such a remedy?

Psalm 103:2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: 3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; 4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; 5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The great physician is very near to us and He is the one who heals all our diseases and putrefying sores spiritual speaking.  We are desperately sick mentally physically and spiritually as we know so well. It says that He is the one who can provide the remedy.  But through what avenue does God provide the remedy?

Malachi 4:2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.

Here is a statement that explains where the remedy comes and how it comes through us.  Where does this healing come from?  From the Son of Righteousness to those who fear His name.  But the question that people always ask me is HOW?  People can see that there is a remedy but they don’t know how to apply it – how to actually connect with these healing rays.

1 Peter 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

Can you see how the healing impact takes place in my being?  As I see myself as I really am as described in Isaiah.  My sins that are the source of my disease were in Christ’s own body like they are in me.  With my sins in His body Jesus died so that we should live unto righteousness.  There is the healing balm – by His stripes we are healed  My sins that deserved eternal death, Jesus died with and as I appreciate my deplorable condition which Jesus died with because it says – we may be dead to sins and He will arise with healing in his wings – by His stripes we are healed. By his stripes we are healed!  There is something in the gift of Jesus on the cross and in His life that has a remedial effect.

The atonement of Christ is not a mere skillful way to have our sins pardoned; it is a divine remedy for the cure of transgression and the restoration of spiritual health. It is the Heaven-ordained means by which the righteousness of Christ may be not only upon us but in our hearts and characters (Letter 406, 1906).  {6BC 1074.2}

This is the remedy! The atonement of Jesus is the remedy and the cure of transgression.  It is something that cures you of your sinful condition. When a transgression is cured it ceases to exist – correct?  A transgression is an act or a behaviour pattern that transgresses the commandments of God and when that behaviour is cured it is no longer transgresses.  The atonement of Christ is a remedy for the transgression.  It affects something that you are doing so that you no longer do it. We need to have a logical application of the atonement to rectify our transgression and this logical application is an activity of the mind.  The activity of the atonement upon my mind – to be able to stop me from transgressing and to cure me from that practice, I need to have an application of that package that renders itself to my appreciation or I will keep on doing it.  I need something to heal my rational and heal my wrong way of thinking. I would like to consider this in reference to the practices in the churches which creates such serious consequences.

They will not engage in the fashionable gossip from house to house, dwelling upon the faults and inconsistencies of their neighbors. They will feel so great a burden of care for their own children that they can find no time to take up a reproach against their neighbor. Gossipers and news-carriers are a terrible curse to neighborhoods and churches. Two-thirds of all the church trials arise from this source.  {SA 162.1}

How much?  Two thirds of the church trials arise from gossip.  If we could eradicate two thirds of the trials of the church wouldn’t you be happy?  We need a remedy that is practical and applicable to the practice of gossip that will wipe it out.  By understanding this is process it will help us understand other processes as well.  The application that erases from our life the process of transgression. If you can erase tale bearing.

Proverbs 26:20 Where no wood is there the fire goes out.

Where there is no tale barer the strife ceases.  Remove the wood and you won’t have a fire,  remove tale bearing and you won’t have strife.  A very simple reality.  The remedy is the removal of tale bearing. I want to identify the word gossip to our mind because if you want to cure something you have to know what the disease is.  You have to know the problem to apply the cure.  What is gossip so we can make a right application of the cure?  If you look in a descriptive dictionary here are the words that describe gossip. Tale bearing, groundless rumor, hearsay, whispering behinds ones back, backbiting, scandal, scandal mongering, idol talk, tittle tattle, comment, report. This is all under the title of gossip and a person who is a gossip is an idle tattler, a tale barer a rumor monger, a scandal monger, a busy body, a meddler.  These were the terms of this descriptive dictionary. Let us inquire how true those statements are in relation to gossip.

It pains me to say that there are unruly tongues among church members. There are false tongues that feed on mischief. There are sly, whispering tongues. There is tattling, impertinent meddling, adroit quizzing. Among the lovers of gossip some are actuated by curiosity, others by jealousy, many by hatred against those through whom God has spoken to reprove them. All these discordant elements are at work. Some conceal their real sentiments, while others are eager to publish all they know, or even suspect, of evil against another.  {5T 94.2}

Magnified, unguarded things that people say may be said hastily.  Here we see a description of the disease and as we read that can we see how easily the disease affects us as human beings.  What does the bible say to help us further appreciate the dimensions of this disease?  We are exploring the disease so that we can intelligently apply the remedy.

Leviticus 19:16 Thou shalt not go up and down [as] a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I [am] the LORD.

What does God say?  We are not to go among Gods people as a tale barer. We are not to spread stories about others as it is forbidden by God.  Some people think if it’s true it is not gossip but that is also wrong.

Proverbs 11:13 A tale barer revealeth secrets but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.

Gossip is to enlarge something that is a secret of another person’s experience.  If the matter is true and it has come to my ears then I will conceal the matter if I am of a faithful spirit.  Thou shalt not go among the people of God to tale bare a secret.

Proverbs 18:8 The words of a tale barer are as wounds as they go down into the inner most parts of the belly.

Oh how many wounds exist in our life because of this two thirds problem among people.  Remember this is another word that we say – a busybody.

1 Peter 4:15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or [as] a thief, or [as] an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.

Under inspiration a busybody is on the same level as a murderer and an evil doer.  With everything I have read here we now understand the nature of the disease.  It is a mind activity in which I am watching the depravity of other people and as I am watching the depravity, I being to ponder and enlarge that erring thing that exists around me and then I spread the evil thoughts that I conjure in my mind and report the evil that I have seen and heard by speaking in my conversation with others.  This is the disease.  When we read the bible what should I be doing?  What is the instruction in the bible in relation to this? Here is what you should be doing with your mind.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.

Here is the instruction if I am thinking of a true story but it is not a good report – don’t think about it.  If it is true but not lovely don’t think about it.  But how many people can’t help themselves.  Can you go to bed at night and switch your thoughts off?  Every human suffers it to a larger or lesser degree. Our minds become active and when we get the right circumstances with people who can see like me we start to talk about it.  Another person who can see like me and they have seen the same things and they question each other – is that right?  It goes on and on. It is a disease and it needs a remedy. Understand the nature of it. We understand that there is practical treatment that is necessary.  It is a practical behaviour a thought pattern that needs a remedy application that can stop the problem and eradicate it from out of my mind. The wood must be removed that creates the fire.  What then is the relevant remedy?  I introduced it in the beginning – the atonement. The question is if the remedy for the disease is the atonement of Jesus Christ, how can I apply it so that it is affective in clearing my brain from theses kind of diseased thought patterns and conversations that get the better of me? Notice several times I read the read putrefying and the spirit of gossip.  I am a nurse and I know what a putrefying sore smells like.  The spirit of gossip is the smell of a putrefying mess which is part of the human dilemma.  The spirit of gossip stinks. It needs something to occupy it so it can tale to others about it so it can spread the smell. What can stop or deal with this putrefaction. – a putrefaction in which there is a need of talking to people a need of sharing something – an internal drive I cant keep this to myself I have to talk to somebody. The only way that you can apply a remedy to such a spirit is to startle it with the most exciting story that has ever been told – that will incite the person to think wow now I can go and tell somebody about something. Tale baring and gossiping is identified as a grave yard in your body. Here it tells you the general condition of the human race – this was hard for me to accept as a Christian but the lord said unless you recognise the way you are I can’t help you.

Romans 3:13 Their throat [is] an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps [is] under their lips:

Sepulcher = grave – and the dead go through the mouth of that grave – our throats absorb other people and we swallow them. In the Spirit of Prophecy the spirit of gossiping is identified in Adventist Home.  Isn’t this a startling story – my throat, mouth and tongue are full of death.  I am swallowing people through my throat.

We think with horror of the cannibal who feasts on the still warm and trembling flesh of his victim; but are the results of even this practice more terrible than are the agony and ruin caused by misrepresenting motive, blackening reputation, dissecting character? Let the children, and the youth as well, learn what God says about these things: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”  {AH 440.5}

She is talking of the spirit of gossip and tale bearing which Satan delights to use to sew strife. It is equated with the cannibal who is eating the flesh and drinking the blood – that is gossiping.  Dissecting another person’s character with a knife and fork and then feasting upon it.  As I look at such a crime what is the consequence of it?

Revelation 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

Can you imagine the experience of people who are going to suffer the consequences of sin in their lives?  The second death.  Imagine the experience of abject hopelessness, complete blackness of outlook.  As you realise that that is the reality of everyone of us as we continue along this path, the hopeless torment that wrecks the being.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

With the horrible reality of what gossip is and the crime of dissecting other human beings and having them for dinner is of such a consequence and then with what has been done there is the thought that I have no future but of hopelessness and destruction.  There comes this other picture into the equation that God so loves these people.  What a story, what a meditation what a thing to spend your mind on.  Here is my sure result of second death experience but God so love me us with our diseased condition and he says he doesn’t want us to perish like that so he gave us Jesus Christ.  What did Jesus Christ experience?  There is something for a mind which loves to tell tales to become preoccupied with. The experience of abject alienation because of the sin and the crime of such a thing as gossip.  What is this person experiencing?  No hope, suffering entire guilt for which there is no remedy and separation from God.  Who is speaking here?

Psalms 22:1 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? [why art thou so] far from helping me, [and from] the words of my roaring?

22:2 O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.

22:6 But I [am] a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.

Isn’t a cannibal despised of the people eating that warm blood flesh?

Psalms 22:15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.

22:16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.

22:17 I may tell all my bones: they look [and] stare upon me.

22:18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that he would experience this without having done it.  The dire results of abject disassociation from any hope.  My God why hast thou forsaken me?  Have you ever been in such dire straights about your condition and your tongue sticks to the top of your mouth?  Jesus Christ experienced this – the second death of your experience.

Isaiah 53:9    And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his deaths (plural); because he had done no violence, neither [was any] deceit in his mouth.

Upon Christ as our substitute and surety was laid the iniquity of us all. He was counted a transgressor, that He might redeem us from the condemnation of the law. The guilt of every descendant of Adam was pressing upon His heart. The wrath of God against sin, the terrible manifestation of His displeasure because of iniquity, filled the soul of His Son with consternation. All His life Christ had been publishing to a fallen world the good news of the Father’s mercy and pardoning love. Salvation for the chief of sinners was His theme. But now with the terrible weight of guilt He bears, He cannot see the Father’s reconciling face. The withdrawal of the divine countenance from the Saviour in this hour of supreme anguish pierced His heart with a sorrow that can never be fully understood by man. So great was this agony that His physical pain was hardly felt.  {DA 753.1}

For those who watched the Mel Gibson film The Passion, Jesus physical pain was accentuated but the real anguish was the guilt laid upon him who had to die because of sin. He comes to a death where he’s got no future.  Hope did not come forth to him as a conqueror.  He feared that sin was so bad that separation from God was eternal.  Christ felt the anguish which the sinner will feel when mercy shall no longer plead for the guilty race.  It was the sense of sin bringing the father’s wrath upon him. It broke the heart of the son of God. Is that juicy a tale?  A tale of a dimension that no other tale can ever equal.   Jesus the son of God – experiencing the wickedness of every human being and experiencing my wickedness, my evil, for which I will have to come face to face with. I am working with people who don’t want to know the terrible consequences of what they have done because it utterly depresses them.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

The people who are depressed who have their evils before them should look up and rejoice should look up because Jesus sided for their sins.  He who believes that should no longer remain in a state of shame.  If we don’t take hold of it the second death will get us too.  It got Jesus too it was a totally depraved awareness.  Everyone who has a temptation to talk about the stories of other people which are so interesting an fascinating to share with other people, here is a story that you should be chewing on like that cannibal chews on the flesh of his victim.

John 6:53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.

6:54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

6:55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.

That is what we do when we talk of other people, drink their flesh and eat their blood.  That is what we are to do with Jesus – talk of him. Instead of dwelling on the gossip I have a new tale to dwell on when I am fascinated with the character of others who are causing me to think much about.  The story is supplanted by the word of God that we may drink the blood and the flesh of Jesus. Prayerfully study the word of God that you may feed upon the flesh and drink of the blood of the son of God.  Here is the remedy for gossip.  Something else to occupy the fertile mind to look upon and to talk about. The problem is that Christians don’t spend time dissection the blood and body of Jesus Christ.  They do it with others but they don’t do it with Jesus.  Can you see the remedy if I am tempted to pick up a gossip story there is a better story to tell than the one I have just been hearing?  It will wipe out because this story transcends all other stories.  Unfortunately Christians fall into a rut of saying I have heard all that before.  They don’t stop to dissect what they have heard about Jesus and that is why they have a fascination with other people. True Christians are preoccupied with this – the most wonderful tale to bear to another.  If we are Christ’s our thoughts are with him and our sweetest thoughts are with him.  All we are is consecrated to him and we long to bear his image do his will and please him in all things. The early Christians were doing what?  They thought and talked and conversed about Jesus all the time.

They were continually recounting the incidents of his life, during the time in which his disciples were blessed with his personal company. They dwelt untiringly upon his teachings, his miracles of healing the sick, casting out devils, and raising the dead to life. With quivering lips and tearful eyes they spoke of his agony in the garden, his betrayal, trial, and execution, the forbearance and humility with which he endured the contumely and torture imposed upon him by his enemies, and the Godlike pity with which he prayed for those who persecuted him. His resurrection and ascension, and his work in Heaven as a Mediator for fallen man, were joyful topics with them. The heathen might well call them Christians, since they preached of Christ, and addressed their prayers to God through him.  {3SP 346.2}

They were trembling as they talked about it.  These were the joyous topics with them. Is this the living practical remedy for gossip?  The living application of the atonement. When next you are tempted to pick up and carry a tale – let the most startling tale chase it into insignificance. Become a tale bearer of the glories of Jesus Christ.

Amen.

Posted on July 20, 2009, in Divine Service Sermons, Gossip and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Am impressed by this message. I’ld like to include this as an aritcle in a magazine for many to benifit. Would you allow me?

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