“I recently saw a YouTube video of sprinter Usain Bolt win the IAAF 100M world championship race in Beijing, China earlier this year. Seen in slo(ow)-mo(tion), it becomes evident that American athlete Justin Gatlin had the race won until the last moment when he turns his head to see where his rival Bolt was. That action of focusing on someone else’s race instead of his own cost him his victory. This was a personal self-revelation for me. I’m sharing it today in the hope that someone else may also benefit from this. We all have our race to run, so run your own race to win.”
The above excerpt was a text I got from a very dear brother in church last week. It came exactly at a time we just finished talking about the growing trend of bitterness, jealousy, resentment and gossip among Christians and churches. In a world shaped by serialized reality shows and television gossip, looking for exclusive negative gossip online or on phone has become a habit and full time job for self-righteous gossip. Such acts can be said to be birthed from poor self-esteem.
What is the essence of preaching a gospel or living a Christian life that mocks the Christian beliefs of love, humility, forgiveness & reconciliation?
The tendency with which Christians engage in bitterness and gossip about and towards others is abysmal. Obviously, no attempt is being made to curb or fight the habit. Hence it has grown so powerful and controlling to an extent there seems to be no control to the damage it is doing to relationships and visions. These days many never read or talk about anything of substance, and so, apart from commenting on the weather, all they can do is criticize others and become retailers of distorted, pernicious stories about people. So they slander to tear down others to build up or promote themselves. They feel so much better only if others can be belittled. I know of many who feel they have the right to declare a ‘no go’ area in their conduct, and are not ready to submit this area of their struggle or weakness to God’s liberating power which is possible through the renewing of mind. They never seem to be challenged by the commandment made by Jesus Christ for all believers to love one another. They simply do not care about obeying God’s commandment. To them their personal convenience supersedes God’s commandment. They allow it to fully rein over their conscious and unconscious thoughts, and action without thinking of what the word of God says.
People who are focused and have goals in life to meet really don’t have space for bitterness, jealousy and gossip.
It is a known fact that relationships around people who have refused to admit they need help minding their business always suffers. I wish to announce to such people that it is possible to break from these habits if one can admit and surrender that area of his or her conduct which has not been brought into the work of sanctification and requires conscientious concern and help from good people and God.
“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:31-32New King James Version (NKJV)
Gossip is normally motivated by envy, jealousy and pride. So the next time you get tempted to gossip, look within yourself and ask yourself some basic questions like; What is the real truth? Or is there a spirit of jealousy smoldering within me? So people, don’t allow your ego rob you of your reward in heaven. Focus more on God who is the author and finisher of our faith as you work out your salvation with fear and trembling.