It is always an intriguing thing to consider gossip. Proverbs 16:28 (NRSVUE) states, “A perverse person spreads strife & a whisperer separates close friends.” James 4:11-12 (MSG) says, “Don’t bad-mouth each other, friends. It’s God’s Word, his Message, his Royal Rule, that takes a beating in that kind of talk. You’re supposed to be honoring the Message, not writing graffiti all over it. God is in charge of deciding human destiny. Who do you think you are to meddle in the destiny of others?” Sometimes, we don’t even realize how our words & our attitudes can dramatically affect others, even affecting others who aren’t present when we share conflicting words & attitudes. Put another way, we’re not consciously trying to cause trouble & yet our words & attitudes spread & cause trouble anyway.

Think about it this way: we are the body of Christ in the world (Romans 12:4-5, 1 Corinthians 12:12-14, Ephesians 4:4-6). As a single body, if the hand is not happy with the foot, the body might not walk well. If the hand hurts the foot, the body definitely won’t walk well. The same goes for the eye if it tells the ear what is heard isn’t accurate or true because of what the eye sees. The ability for the body to function well together requires a willingness to listen & work together, even across the differences in our desires, visions, & attitudes. In these passages about the body of Christ, there are verses nearby that remind us what it is to work together, be transformed together, & have patience to work together. 

“Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of the mind, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.” -Romans 12:2 (NRSVUE)

“Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many… If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many members yet one body.” 1 Corinthians 12:14, 19-20 (NRSVUE)

Perhaps more than anything, when we find ourselves grumbling or uncertain about what is happening, realizing the course of action we have taken is causing dissension & unrest, we should consider these words from Ephesians 4:14-16 (MSG):

“No prolonged infancies among us, please. We’ll not tolerate babes in the woods, small children who are easy prey for predators. God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love—like Christ in everything. We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do. He keeps us in step with each other. His very breath and blood flow through us, nourishing us so that we will grow up healthy in God, robust in love.”

Are we speaking in love? Are we seeking ways to grow in our faith & in our hope in Christ? Are our words building up for God’s kin-dom on earth? Is Christ the source of everything we do? If we can answer these questions with a resounding “yes,” we are well on our way to a maturity of faith & a community of believers who will be a compelling body of Jesus transforming the world for God’s glory & kin-dom.


In Christ’s Love,

Pastor Sylvia