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"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." Ephesians 4:32 NIV

Have you ever been on the brunt end of gossip? Sometimes, it may be done unintentionally by making speculation and assumptions in the absence of facts. Whether done intentionally to inflict pain or in ignorance, we can attest to the fact that idle chatter ruins lives–and churches. If Satan had a toolbox, gossip would be the often-used hammer.

Paul's epistle to the church in Ephesus is a letter about getting along–a list of do's and don'ts. In the previous verse, Paul exhorts, "Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice." Remember, this letter is to the church, not a bunch of outsiders.

All those behaviors are to be expected from the world, but Christ's followers need to reject those baser instincts–giving in is sin, pure and simple. Instead, this is how we are to live with kindness, compassion, and forgiveness. When our loose lips have caused harm, we ask God and the offended person for forgiveness. In our forgiveness, we are forgiven. If we've been on the receiving end of the offense, though it is hard, forgive. In forgiveness comes healing.

Heavenly Father, we confess we have failed to be the examples of Christ we should be. We have bowed to temptations and said and done things that have inflicted harm intentionally and unintentionally. Give us the courage to ask forgiveness and the strength to give it. We humbly ask you to pardon us for our sins. In Jesus Christ's name, we pray. Amen.


Pastor Tim

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