Saturday, September 06, 2008

Spurgeon on Gossip

I am to preach on Psalm 15 in the morning so I was looking over Spurgeon’s comments in his Treasury of David. Spurgeon’s comments on gossip are worth noting, especially since gossip may tear more churches apart than any other sin. We ought to deal directly and forcefully with any who bring gossip to us. Spurgeon helpfully makes the point of how dangerous this sin is and how we should respond accordingly.

"Nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour." He is a fool if not a knave who picks up stolen goods and harbours them; in slander as well as robbery, the receiver is as bad as the thief. If there were not gratified hearers of ill reports, there would be an end of the trade of spreading them. Trapp says, that "the tale-bearer carrieth the devil in his tongue, and the tale-hearer carries the devil in his ear." The original may be translated, "endureth;" implying that it is a sin to endure or tolerate tale-bearers. "Show that man out!" we should say of a drunkard, yet it is very questionable if his unmanly behaviour will do us so much mischief as the tale-bearers insinuating story. "Call for a policeman!" we say if we see a thief at his business; ought we to feel no indignation when we hear a gossip at her work? Mad dog! Mad dog!! is a terrible hue and cry, but there are few curs whose bite is so dangerous as a busybody's tongue. Fire! fire!! is an alarming note, but the tale-bearer's tongue is set on fire of hell, and those who indulge it had better mend their manners, or they may find that there is fire in hell for unbridled tongues. Our Lord spake evil of no man, but breathed a prayer for his foes; we must be like him, or we shall never be with him.


Anonymous said...

Great quote Dr. Van Neste. I don't know if you ever take requests for blog posts, but if you ever have time I would love to hear more about how you would recommend pastors respond to gossip in their church. I would especially be interested to hear how you would handle it in varying situations such as if someone was talking to you and gossipping, if you overheard your wife/child or fellow elder gossipping, and if you knew of gossip going on in your church but you had not personally encountered it yet. I think those types of situations require graceful courage but I would love to hear how you would handle them.

Ray Van Neste said...

I'm glad to take suggestions like this. I will plan to respond. I am currnelty catching up on some planned posts, so feel free to jog my memory if nothign shows up here in a week or so!