Don’t you love how we sometimes disguise prayer requests as gossip? I know I’ve been guilty. We could easily say that we have an unspoken prayer request, because doesn’t God know what we need? That’s just not quite as juicy now is it?
I can just see it now, at the weekly small group meeting. It’s prayer request time, and I’ve just heard that my neighbor’s, cousin’s, sister was out at the bar last weekend. I heard she got drunk and went home with someone other than her husband. When her husband found out, he went and beat the guy within an inch of his life, and drug her back home. My prayer request might sound something like this.
“Y’all, I need y’all to pray for my neighbor’s, cousin’s sister. She’s been having marriage problems. I’m pretty sure there’s been some extra marital affairs going on. God love ’em, they just need Jesus. Going out to bars, and partying; we all know where that gets you! Right into the arms of another man, that’s where! Maybe we should have some sort of a men’s conference to try and help these young husbands learn how to treat their wives. I believe it would stop a lot of this. Oh! And while you’re at it, add the poor guy she went home with to the list, I’m not sure of his name but her husband beat him nearly to death. Those poor lost souls, God love ’em, they need lots of prayer!”
That’s pretty dang humorous! Or, at least I think it is. Why do we do things like that? Is it because we just can’t keep our mouths shut when we hear something juicy? Is it because an unspoken request is just too boring? Maybe it’s just because we love to gossip. It’s always nice to take the focus off our own sin isn’t it? If we really cared about them, wouldn’t we keep their dirt quiet?
It’s so easy to take a ride on the gossip train, but once you climb aboard, it’s not that easy to exit. Let’s not take delight in someone else’s sin. Let’s love like Jesus. He didn’t condemn the woman at the well, who had five husbands and was shacking up with another guy; and He doesn’t condemn us. He is faithful and just to forgive. Who are we to condemn anyone?
Whether you think so or not, disguising gossip as a prayer request, is condemning someone. Let’s exit that gossip train now, and never go back to the station!
If anyone secretly says things against his neighbor, I will stop him.
I will not allow people to be proud and look down on others. Psalm 101:5