I’m Encouraging Intolerance On This

In Proverbs 6:16-19, there is a list of 7 things that God hates, and 3 of them deal directly with speech:

16 There are six things that the Lord hates,
seven that are an abomination to him:
17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that make haste to run to evil,
19 a false witness who breathes out lies,
and one who sows discord among brothers.

There are some things that simply must not be tolerated, both in the life of the believer and in the church body.  Sins willfully committed against each other with words are on that list.  We are setting a new standard of intolerance for this kind of behavior in our group.  The goal is to make our Student Ministry a place where verbal abuse of each other is not welcomed, and where people who are prone to this cannot find anyone to listen to them or participate in it.

Most everyone would say they’ve been a victim of gossip, but hardly anyone ever thinks that they are a gossip.  Nobody likes drama, yet some are always in the middle of it.  This affects everyone in the group at one time or another, and will only be overcome by fighting it together.  It’s not someone else’s responsibility – “It Stops With Me”.

1. If this is not a problem for you, you can help fight it; in fact, nothing will change much if you do not.  The best tactic, when someone starts to involve you in their sin of gossip, is to just walk away.  Even if you don’t repeat it again, by listening you are part of the problem.

2. If you do have trouble controlling your tongue, you need to repent, get right with God and those you’ve hurt, and stop.  If you’re really brave, ask your close friends to call you out if they hear you starting to do it again.

3. If you like spreading gossip and lies about others, and have no desire or plan to stop, then you need to understand that your behavior is no longer welcome.  We will do anything we can to help you overcome this wicked sin, but you will no longer have a place where you can practice it without consequences.  Our goal is to create a spirit of unity and peace that will make you unable to continue spreading your poison as a part of our group.

If someone walked in and started slashing people with a knife, we would do whatever is necessary to stop them.  We can no longer simply sit by and allow people to do the same thing with their words.

“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

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