A Life Stirred

Gossip is a Symptom.

on October 8, 2014

Matt Chandler is my favorite podcast pastor.  I’m pretty sure if I could just meet him and his family, we’d all be best friends.  Hmmm….that comes across a bit creepy.

I love his style and his humor (I’ve been known to LOL during his sermons…thank goodness, it’s just me in my kitchen doing dishes).  But more than that, I love the truth that he preaches.  He explains Christian concepts in a way that I get.  Concepts that I’ve never really understood after years of being a Christian and church-attendee.  Concepts like grace and sanctification and justification.  If you are looking for some sermon-y podcasts to listen to, I highly recommend the Village Church.

I find myself quoting him a lot.  I mean, even the title of my blog was inspired by his preaching.  So I’m a fan.

Is it weird to be that excited about a pastor?

Anyway, that was just a long introduction to this quote from Matt Chandler’s sermon series “Recovering Redemption”:

If the heart of the problem is the problem of the heart, if what’s actually wrong with us is not symptomatic but rather something going on in the heart… Is it not true that symptoms reveal the disease?

If gossip is a problem of the heart, then gossip is simply a symptom.  It reveals the disease.

Yesterday, I gave you a snazzy (depressing?) list of some of the forms that gossip can take.  All of them are symptoms.

So, what’s the disease?  What is the cause of gossip?

Well, I think the answer to that can vary.  It depends on what’s in your heart.

Sometimes gossip is a symptom of insecurity.  We tear others down to make ourselves feel better.  Or we like to participate in gossip because it makes us feel important (and more valued than the subject of the gossip).  We can feel in-the-know and as if we are part of the in-crowd (flashback to junior high anyone?).

Sometimes gossip is a symptom of bitterness or anger.  We can be hurt by someone, and instead of dealing with it appropriately, we lash out in bitterness and gossip, spreading our hurt to others.

Sometimes gossip is a symptom of jealousy or discontentment.  We want to destroy the “perfect” imagine of someone else, and so we delight in tearing them down.

Sometimes gossip is a symptom of a lack of self-discipline.  We share what isn’t ours to share because we don’t take the time to think about our words.

It can be difficult to diagnose what’s causing the symptom of gossip.  And yet, diagnosing the disease is the only real way to heal the disease.  Because each of those “diseases” have very different treatments.  You can’t treat insecurity the same as anger.  They are different.  Even if the symptoms are the same.

If we are serious about taming the tongue (and I know I am), we must discover what disease our symptoms indicate.  For me, gossip indicated a trio of diseases:  insecurity, discontentment, and a lack of self-discipline.

It really isn’t a shocking diagnosis (albeit a bit dramatic to read).  Those issues manifest themselves in many other ways in my life.

However, if I treat and cure this symptom (the gossip symptom), I will be making progress is knocking out the disease.  [I think my symptom-disease metaphor may have just fallen apart a bit…but I hope you get the point anyway.]

Don't miss a day!

Don’t miss a day!

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One response to “Gossip is a Symptom.

  1. Renee says:

    I think you’re definitely right, gossip isn’t done for no reason. I think if we really look at our conversations and analyzed the source for gossiping, we’d probably be a little bit surprised by our true feelings. Thank you for being honest on the areas you struggle in. Based on your descriptions, I think I struggle with the anger/bitterness and self discipline.

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