Have You Heard About…?

Have You Heard About…?


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Being a busybody (better known as a gossip) and prying into other people’s affairs are listed along with the sins of murder, stealing, and making trouble (see I Peter 4:15 TLB).

Christians sometimes fall into the sin of prying into other people’s affairs and then gossiping about them. Apparently, God considers this as serious a sin as stealing or murder! That’s rather shocking, isn’t it?  And it does seem strange that prying into other people’s affairs and then gossiping about them is so severely condemned by God. Perhaps God has watched the suffering and pain that has been created by those sins!

Most Christians would staunchly declare that they would never steal from anyone and certainly have never committed murder. But how many of us regularly pry into other people’s lives? And then do we pass our information along to others?

If it’s true that a fellow Christian was once on drugs or guilty of some other sin, do we feel it’s our business to find out. If we find out that he, or she, has been guilty would we then tell other people? If we did, would that please God?

Of course, we should not sin. But how strange to us that in God’s eyes it seems the sins of stealing and murder are no worse than our effort to point out other people’s sins!

Perhaps all of this has something to do with the fact that God has forgiven our sins. He doesn’t want us to be reminded of them, even at the Judgement Seat. God paid the great price of permitting His Son to be humiliated and crucified, in order to provide the forgiveness of our sins. Maybe the great price He paid causes Him to be angry when we find it necessary to pry into that which He has forgiven.

I strongly recommend that you carefully ponder your attitude toward the sins of others. If you have been eager to hear about other people’s mistakes, reflect on the consequences before you once again practice the fine art of prying – even if you clothe your curiosity by saying, “I want to pray for them.”

Remember that Jesus told us to pray: Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. But the act of prying is saying, “I don’t want to forget; I want to find out what others have done.” Just like Eve, we want more knowledge of good and evil!

Many sufferings come to those who disregard God’s warnings. The sins of prying and gossiping sink men’s hearts into discouragement. I’ve seen it happen. Christians, who were once filled with confidence and joy that Jesus was their Lord and Savior, drifted into doubt and discouragement after they centered their attention on another person’s sins or failures. They found it difficult to believe that God had forgiven their own sins!

When we learn about another man’s faults, we may be tempted to judge him. We need to consider Romans 14:4 (NIV): Who are you to judge someone else’s servant?

Jesus said, Do not judge, or you too will be judged (Matthew 7:1). For this reason alone, we would be wise to flee from making critical judgements about others. (Reprint from November 2000)

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