Do you enjoy gossip? Do you spread gossip by telling others things you’ve heard yet have no proof of? What about sharing good news? Many people, whether they admit it or not, enjoy a good, juicy story about someone they know! Some gossips even take the smallest tidbit of news and build a story around it just so they have something that they alone have knowledge of and can share around! But should Christians engage in gossip, whether listening or spreading stories? The Bible says, “Troublemakers are always causing problems. Their gossip breaks up the closest of friends.” (Proverbs 16:28 ERV). The trouble with gossip is that, because it may be only partially true or because it may be on a sensitive, private subject, it’s bound to hurt someone.

I recall an instance in my youth where something just like that happened to me. The gossip resulted from a ‘friend’ combining two shared confidences with another and the story became distorted. At the time, I told my friend that my unmarried sister was expecting a child, which in those days was not considered proper. At the same time, I had developed feelings for a boy, and I told my friend this because she lived across the street from him. Somehow, by the time the gossip reached my ears, the story had me pregnant, and all the kids were jeering and teasing me! I had to seek out the girls’ counselor to help me because I was embarrassed and hurt by my friend’s betrayal. It was quickly resolved after she lectured the class about telling stories about which they didn’t have the truth.

During Jesus’ ministry, there were times when He instructed someone to not share news, such as when He was healing on the Sabbath Day, “Many people followed him, and he cured all of them. He also ordered them not to tell people who he was.” (Matthew 12:15-16 GW).  Another time, when He healed just one man, Jesus told him the same thing! There are times, however, when telling stories is good and that’s when it’s good news that affects those within hearing distance, when it won’t backfire and hurt others! Eventually, stories of Jesus had spread far and wide until finally, He had the disciples spread the Good News! Before He ascended to heaven after His resurrection, Jesus told the disciples, “…So go and make followers of all people in the world. Baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey everything that I have told you to do…”. (Matthew 28:19-20a ERV). This is the type of news Christians should share. This is our mission on earth!

My heart song is by the Gaithers and is a twist on the old ‘Tell Me The Story of Jesus’:

“I’m tired of hollow sounding words, I’m tired of empty promise
Won’t someone sing a simple song of Jesus’ love.

Tell me, tell me the story of Jesus.
Tell me, tell me, tell me once again about His love.

Tell me the old, old story it’s my only hope in Glory
Tell me the story of Jesus
Tell me the old, old story it shall be my theme in Glory
Tell me once again about His love

Like eagle wings it lifts me up
Above the world around me
Like cool refreshing summer rain
It leaves me clean.

Second person (singing verse above):
Tell me, tell me the story of Jesus
Tell me, tell me, tell me once again about His love.

Tell me, tell me, tell me the story of Jesus
Tell me, tell me, tell me once again about His love
Tell me once again about His love
Tell me once again about His love.

Tell me the story of Jesus.”

“Jesus said to his followers, “Go everywhere in the world, and tell the Good News to everyone.” (Mark 16:15 NCV).  Have a blessed day!