"Nothing is a greater, or more fearful, sacrilege than to prostitute the great name of God to the petulancy of an idle tongue." Jeremy Taylor
PRAY: Dear Lord, I have become filled with every kind of wickedness and I ask that You clean out my heart, my mind, and my soul right now. I want to start today being washed as white as snow, so that no gossip comes out of my mouth and no evil thoughts go into my head. Even though I know Your righteous decree, I don't want to continue to do these evil things that displease You. Please allow me to start fresh today with a pure and contrite heart. Thank you, Lord.
REFLECT: Romans 1:29-32 tells us that not only do we allow every kind of wickedness, evil, greed, and depravity to come into us, but Paul lists horrible things that we think and do, and GOSSIP is on that list, next to God-haters, infidelity, and having no love. That's powerful. People often prioritize sins according to what we think is better or worse, and we get it so wrong. We know turning against God is bad, but seeing that Paul put gossips in the same list as God-haters is humbling and thought-provoking. Are you careful with your words? Do you talk about or against others? Although we know God's righteous decree, that does not stop us from doing such things that deserve death! We do them anyway and even approve when others practice the same thing.
ACT: Read through this verse out loud and listen carefully to the list of sins that Paul points out as evil and wicked. Are you surprised by the variety of offenses? Go through them again one at a time and ask the Lord to take each one away from you. When you arrive at gossip, ponder its dictionary meaning: "someone who likes to talk about someone else's private or personal business." It's not necessarily mean words, it's just personal. Ask the Lord to reveal to you any time that you've gossiped and to help you to hold your tongue the next time you're tempted. It may take a few times to break the habit.