Luke 18:1-8

God used a friend to remind me of this last night. I needed to be encouraged and she messaged me at the right time. Before praying, I came up with a few resolutions (for lack of a better word):

  • I will persist in prayer until the answer comes
  • I will keep my requests constantly before God
  • I will live for God day by day
  • I believe that God will answer
  • I live by faith, I will not give up
  • When God delays, It is with reason
  • When I persist in prayer, I will grow in character, faith and hope
  • If evil judges can yield to constant pressure, how much more our loving Father in heaven
  • God loves me, God will hear me

Biblical Standpoint on Gossip

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Gossip is a sin. Tolerating gossip is a sin. I have often been guilty of both. Gossip is one of the sins Christians have forgotten it is quite surprising considering how much the Bible has to say about gossip. Proverbs 18:8, Proverbs 20:19, Proverbs 17:4, Proverbs 6:16-19.

“Christian gossip” just might be the worst because we give the justification that we are not gossiping, rather we are concerned about a brother or sister and we want to pray or discuss how to help the person in question. The verse christian gossips usually resort to to justify their behaviour is James 5:19-20 which essentially encourages us to turn those who wander away back so as to save them from death. The problem here is that if we are being honest, when we gossip or should I say ‘discuss’ or ‘share information’ about someone else to someone else, we rarely accomplish the goal of saving the sinner or backslider. Instead, if that person were to walk in on our conversation, he/she would feel shamed and embarrassed.

Gossiping comes in many shades. Sometimes people do not even realise they are gossiping. Remember that listening to gossip is also sinful so there is nothing like ‘I was there when they said this and that but I did not contribute’. If you listened, you encouraged it. Proverbs 17:4. Today’s society craves gossip, we watch gossip on TV, we use our money to buy gossip news and tabloids.

For those who are wondering , the following constitute gossip:

  1. Slander: Spreading lies about someone to intentionally cause damage. Libel is the written form of slander. Colossians 3:8, James 4:11, Jeremiah 6:28, Jeremiah 9:4, Proverbs 11:13, Proverbs 20:19, Proverbs 26:20-22, Proverbs 10:18.
  2. Backbiting: Saying spiteful things abut someone who is not present, usually carried out in secret. Proverbs 25:23, Romans 1:28-32, 2 Corinthians 12:20, Psalm 101:5, Psalm 41:7, 1 Timothy 3:9-11, 1 Timothy 5:13-14, 2 Timothy 3:1-5, Titus 2:2-3.
  3. Rumours: When you hear something that is unconfirmed as true yet you tell someone else or ask around to gather more news on that issue. Proverbs 13:3, Matthew 12:36
  4. Gisting: Nigerians are familiar with this term. It is synonymous with giving the scoop (as well as receiving the scoop), dishin’ the dirt or sharing ‘juicy’ info you ‘heard’ about someone. You may mot have intended to hurt but you have kept the gossip alive and even enhanced its spread. Proverbs 20:19, James 5:9

we are to lay aside all manner of evil speaking. 1 Peter 2:1, Titus 3:2. Pamela Rose Williams has often quoted her husband as saying “If you aren’t part of the problem or the solution, its gossip”. Gossip has ruined office relationships, churches, friendships and even family relationships. Proverbs 17:9. Other words the Bible uses in reference to gossip are: tale bearing, busybody and whispering.

Other verses to further study: Ephesians 4:29, Proverbs 16:28, Exodus 23:1, Psalm 34:13, James 1:26, Luke 6:31, Proverbs 10:18, Leviticus 19:16, Psalm 50:19-23, James 3:7-8, Titus 3:10, Proverbs 18:13, 2 Timothy 3:23, Titus 3:9, Psalm 19:14, 2 Timothy 2:16.

Biblical Examples of GOOD FRIENDSHIPS

  1. David and Jonathan: Sometimes you meet people and instantly there is a connection. This was the case here (1 Samuel 18:1-3). Jonathan’s father (King Saul) was jealous of David and sought to kill him. The plots never worked because Jonathan (who knew his friend was innocoent) saved him from his father. Jonathan loved David as he loved himself. 1 Samuel 20.
  2. Ruth and Naomi: This was a friendship between a daughter-in-law and a mother-in-law. Even when things became tough, Ruth did not want to leave Naomi. She did not even expect anything in return from Naomi. Ruth 1:1-22.
  3. Daniel, Shedrach, Meshach and Abednego: I particularly love this example as it applies to or can apply to a group of friends. Daniel requested that his friends get promoted to high positions (Daniel 2:49). Friends look out for each other and ernestly desire progress for each other.
  4. Jesus, Mary, Martha and Lazarus: They had a close friendship. Jesus often ate with them (Luke 10:38) and Martha was being very honest with Jesus when she said Lazarus would have been alive if Jesus was present.
  5. Paul, Timothy and Epaphroditus: Another friendship I love and admire because not only were they so loyal to each other, they loved the Lord and worked in the Lord’s vineyard tirelessly. Philippians 2:19-26.

These are by no means all the examples of good friendships in the Bible. I chose to emphasize on the 5 listed above. These examples show us the meaning and qualities of true friendships. Ask God to help you become a true friend and pray for your friendships to glorify God (lol…I know I say this a lot). Also, learn to pray for your friends. Proverbs 27:17 says iron sharpens iron and one man sharpens another, do not underestimate the impact you have on your friends and vice- versa. Evaluate yourself as a friend, Can your friends see the Christ in you?

Examples of BAD FRIENDSHIPS in the Bible

Last time, I emphasised on the need for “Godly Friends”. Anyway, I got curious about friendships even more. So I decided to search the scriptures even more- I wanted specific examples and stories of good and bad friendships in the Bible. Interestingly, the Bible is jumbled with friendship stories- the good, the bad and the ugly. I love the Bible. 

1.) Judas: he was a bad friend because he was self centred and put his interests over his friendship with Jesus. He was a fake friend, Jesus said Judas would betray him and Judas refuted. On the betrayal day, his fake kiss led to Jesus’ capture. Matthew 26:16-17, Luke 22:48-48

2.) Ahithophel: Another example of a fake friend. He was David’s “trusted” counselor and friend (Psalm 41:9) who not only fed the king with lousy advice and ultimately wanted to overthrow the kingdom (2 Samuel 15:10-17,23).

3.) Pharaoh’s cupbearer: Remember him? Joseph met him in jail. They became friends, Joseph interpreted his dream. He made a promise to Joseph that he would remember him when he got out of jail but he forgot Joseph (Genesis 40:1-23).

I will do a follow up post on good Biblical friendships worthy of emulation.