Isaiah 53:6, 9
A number of years ago I saw a humorous video about three women gathering together for a prayer meeting. The first one started out by starting to dig up some dirt about one of the families in the congregation and kind of speak negatively about them, but then concluded what she said by saying ‘we should really lift them up in prayer.’ The second woman did something similar and also said ‘we should lift them up in prayer too.’ Finally the third woman realized what was going on and she said ‘maybe we’re the ones who need prayer because all that we’re doing here is simply gossiping.’
This video struck a chord with me, especially as a Christian, because I think many times for us as Christians we pat ourselves on the back saying ‘well, don’t use foul language.’ ‘I don’t drink too much.’ ‘I am faithful to my wife and my kids.’ ‘I live in outwardly moral life.’
But we can be filled with gossip and fall into the trap of speaking ill of others or maybe expressing their faults to other people. Why do we do it? Perhaps we do it to punish them a little bit, take them down a notch in other people’s minds that they’re not as good as they might think they are. Maybe it is to elevate our own selves.
Such times I’ve realized my guilt, maybe beat myself up afterwards saying ‘how could I have done that to them?’ ‘How could I have betrayed that friend, could have betrayed the co-worker, or others?’
At such times that God would have us turn to his Word. Isaiah chapter 53 he says this.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth. (Isaiah 53:6, 9)
It reminds us that all of our sins have been placed on Jesus, even that sin of gossip has been placed on him. Placed on the one who lived a perfect and holy life for us, not once was filled with gossip, slander, or deceit. Then he took it to the cross and suffered for that sin so that we could be forgiven. Knowing this he encourages us now in His Word to speak the truth in love. To not speak ill of our friends and neighbors and co-workers, but to build them up to build up their own reputations and good name all to his glory. May God help us in doing so. Amen.