Tag: gossip

The Wrong Beliefs Behind 5 Popular Sins

Behind every sin you struggle with is a wrong belief about God and/or yourself. Believing rightly is the key to living rightly.

That’s why the New Testament (Covenant) calls for an obedience of “faith” in contrast to the obedience of “actions” required in the Old Testament (Covenant). Our actions always follow our beliefs.

FInd me a person who struggles with a particular sin and you will have found a person whose belief about God and/or themselves is distorted or false in some way. The way to combat sin is in our beliefs, not our actions. We are indeed renewed in our minds before ever being renewed in our behaviors. Trying to “do better” never works, only “believing better” holds the key to victory.

Here our 5 popular sins and some of the “wrong beliefs” behind them…

1- Sexual Sin-

Obviously there are a lot of sexual sins, but there are reoccurring wrong beliefs behind many of them.

A) Deep down I know this is not right or is bad for me, but this is what I deserve B) The best thing I have to offer is sexual C) God can’t heal my hurt and emptiness, but this can D) My value is in what I offer sexually E) This will bring intimacy and wholeness into my life F) I am the broken and discardable person my mother, father, and/or abuser portrayed I am.

2- Lying

Lying can come in various forms from exaggeration to withholding the truth. Here are some reoccurring wrong beliefs behind it all.

A) God isn’t on my side or quick enough, so this is the best way to move things forward and get ahead. B) The truth about me or my actions isn’t good enough, for God and/or for others for me to be loveable and valuable. C) The truth will make things too complicated and difficult (even for God to handle), and may ruin everything D) I need people to like me and things to be peaceful in order to feel good about myself E) no one will get hurt.

3- Gossip

Gossip always serves a selfish purpose for those who are speaking it (and hearing it). Here are some wrong believes behind people’s attraction to gossip.

A) I am not completely valuable and secure in Christ, so I need to bring others down to make me better, even if it’s just in my own eyes and/or the eyes of others B) What I know or have to say about others that is negative is one of the best things I have to offer in a relationship or conversation C) This will even the score D) this is an appropriate way to get things done. E) it’s fun, no one will get hurt.

4- Idolatry

A) God is not as real, powerful, tangible and effective, but this is B) I need this person, activity, or thing for my value, fulfillment, or meaning in life. C) This is better than God or anything He could give me D) By the time God gives it, it will be too late.

5- Gluttony

A) This can heal the hurts God can’t B) This will keep me safe from intimacy with people who can hurt me C) Deep down I know this behavior is bad for me, but this is the punishment I deserve D) This will make life happier and worthwhile.

Did you notice a common thread among all of these? Insecurity and a doubt in God’s goodness and favor upon our lives.

This list is why the Grace of God is so important, it teaches us to live rightly because it shows us who we truly are and what we truly have in Him. Without His abundance of Grace we will never know who we are and what we have in Him, and thus, never overcome the sin in our lives. Grace is what gives us something to truly believe about God and ourselves, bringing life and freedom from the lame lures of sin.

Obviously, some of these “wrong beliefs” are believed on a deep, even subconscious level, but they are still pulling the strings of our actions and attitudes. Get to the root of your wrong beliefs and you can change the surface life of your actions and attitudes!

What would you add or delete from this list and/or post?

The Evil of Drama

dramathe creating and need of attention by a person through the use of personal or interpersonal conflict

Satan loves drama. In fact he is the one who invented it.  There is nothing more drama filled than His rebellion in Heaven and His stunts in the Garden of Eden. Drama, drama, and more drama.

In fact, have you noticed that sin is at the heart of all drama, because sin is at the heart of all conflict. Take personal or interpersonal conflict out of conversations, and some people won’t have anything to talk about.  In fact, for some, drama has become their emotional caffeine as they can’t seem to get through the day without several cups of it. And for some, it’s become their security blanket as they just can’t feel good about themselves without hearing or delivering something negative (true, false, or somewhere in between) about their life, someone, or something else.

It’s drama, and Satan loves every minute and morsel of it. More than that, he loves to see us joining in with it in our lives. Why? Because it’s evil and destructive. It gets us focusing on everything that isn’t important and missing what is. It steals, kills, and destroys integrity, holiness, relational health, self-esteem, and the list goes on and on. Drama adds nothing, but costs just about everything.

Here’s some key destructive things drama does…

Drama minimizes truth and maximizes personal opinion-  People who crave attention rarely value truth. Why? Because truth isn’t often that dramatic. However, personal opinions can create realities for conversation that are more appetizing, self-serving, and attention getting.

Yet, personal opinion can be easily misguided and filled with much speculation. But who cares, right? We’re not trying to be truthful or get to the truth, we are just trying to get attention or relieve our insecurities by lowering the lives of others down so we don’t look as bad as we really are. It’s that why we love a good scandal or to see a public figure fail, whether its true or not?

Drama loves the misguided idea that “everybody is entitled to their own opinion.”  In our culture, we overvalue personal opinion and undervalue truth and the counsel of God’s Word. Everyone maybe entitled to have a personal opinion, but we aren’t always entitled to give it, nor should we always listen to everybody’s opinion. What people are really often saying who use the phrase, “Well, I’m entitled to my own opinion” is “You are entitled to my opinion.”

Drama loves to try to drag people around through personal opinion and drag them into their world of personal opinion.

Drama minimizes direct communication and maximizes gossip-  Drama hates resolution and accountability. What fun would that be, right? It’s a lot more dramatic to talk about people than to people.

Furthermore, drama finds it fuel in the darkness of people talking behind other people’s backs and not being held accountable for their words. Additionally, drama finds its energy in people who are willing to listen to it, and even give it safe harbor. Being a gossip isn’t just about what you say, it’s also about what you listen to. If you find that you are on the receiving end of a lot of drama, it may be because you have become or are perceived as a willing host.

When people who need to be talking directly (instead of through others or to others) are actually talking directly to each other, drama dissolves. That’s why drama loves to play the mediator or the divider. Drama loves to pit people against each other and play both ends of stick. Drama is often two faced and indulges in playing the middle ground.

Drama minimizes self control and maximizes impulsiveness- When our tongues are out of control and undisciplined, it’s because our hearts our first out of control and undisciplined.  People who have little control over their emotions tend to have little control over their mouths. Rather, they feel and say whatever comes to their flesh. And when an opportunity comes to take a hit off  a drama dubby or caffeine up on some negative attention, they just can’t resist.

Drama is impulsive. It’s easily stirred up and excited. It goes from one drama to the next, often without any sense of thought, reserve, or hesitancy. Drama is undisciplined and never does it’s homework. Drama is the emotional drunk who has to have some kind of negative cocktail upon which to sip, heaven for bid, lest they sober up and have to grow up.

Drama minimizes self-worth and maximizes insecurity- People who are into drama tend to be insecure about themselves. Thus, they use drama for at least one of three reasons. 1) To lift themselves up in their own mind by bringing a person(s) down in the mind of others. 2) They need attention and affirmation, so they use drama to draw attention to themselves. They are insecure to the point that negative attention seems better than no attention. They freely open the window for all to look into their daily struggles and that of others solely because deep down, they need the attention. 3) They listen to and host the drama in other people’s lives because it makes them feel needed and they are too insecure to redirect or stop the unhealthy dialogue, walk away, or confront it.

Drama minimizes responsibility and maximizes blame- Have you noticed that when people share their drama, it’s typically always everybody else’s fault but their own. They are the victim to a deep injustice or tragedy for which they bare no responsibility. The government is to blame, their boss is to blame, their friend is to blame, their pastor is to blame, their spouse is to blame. Everybody is to blame but them. And then the person who loves to listen and give safe harbor to drama affirms their delusional conclusions and the two (or more) of them revel together in the drama of victimization. It’s this drama ladened victimization that has led to statements like, “All men are scum.” and other like phrases.

When drama takes responsibility for it’s own existence, it quickly loses its appeal. When the mirror of drama is turned from looking at everyone else to reflecting itself, drama no longer is the great rationalizer and excuse creator.

Drama minimizes holiness and maximizes negative attention- People who are drawn to drama easily become the emotional and verbal garbage cans in which drama junkies place their trash. They are partners in the crime through their open ears and open doors, not because they pulled the trigger necessarily, but because they drove the car.  Unfortunately, the following formula will eventually take hold in their life, “Junk in, junk out”  It’s impossible to feed off of negative attention without it polluting our emotional and spiritual system.  W can love and listen to people without giving support to everything they say nor permission to say whatever they want. This is the key to defusing drama before it darkens you.

Drama minimizes reality and maximizes exaggeration and distortion- When the truth of history (what has really happened) doesn’t present a person in a positive light or get them enough attention, there is a great temptation to exaggerate reality or even completely distort it.

I had a friend in high school completely make up a story that she had been assaulted in a hotel elevator in order to gain the attention of our entire youth group during a summer trip.  Furthermore, we have all experienced those who like to spread lies and half-truths about ourselves or others because the reality of history (what really happened) doesn’t cast a positive light on them. Drama hates reality, because reality isn’t often that attention getting nor titillating, and sometimes it’s outright convicting.

Drama minimizes trust and maximizes distance-  Where some people are attracted to drama for negative reasons, others are repelled by it for healthy reasons. Why? Because drama minimizes the ability for trust to develop in a healthy relationship.  It’s hard to develop trust when drama abounds in a relationship or a person shows they are prone to drama. Drama lives in unhealth. Trusting a person who lives in the world of drama to be healthy with what you share of yourself with them can become difficult. If we want to attract healthy relationships and people we must be willing to leave the world of drama. Healthy relationships and drama cannot exist together.

Drama minimizes clarity and maximizes deception-  The incubator for drama is darkness, where things can’t be seen for what they really are. When drama is exposed to the light of truth and health, it evaporates unless it is kept in the shadows of deception where things are misrepresented and disguised.

Drama loves to talk in generalities with broad sweeping statements that sow seeds of doubt while keeping things inconclusive, undetermined, and unsure. Drama loves to take that which is plain and make it complicated, that which is known and make it unsure, that which is trustable and make it doubted, that which is likely, and make it unlikely, and that which is black or white, and make it grey.  Drama lives and breathes on the complicated, unsure, doubted, unlikely, and grey. Drama sows these seeds of doubt, uncertainty, and mystery in order to perpetuate its existence. For without them, drama dissolves. Just ask the conspiracy buffs. Just ask Hollywood. Just ask religious-spirited people. Just ask Satan.

In our world and culture, where drama is so common place, it’s easy to become numb to its evil. Satan would love nothing more than to steal, kill, and destroy the life out of our living through drama. May God wake us all up to this scheme.

Looking forward to your thoughts.

Is it Gossip or Not?

A gossip is a person who creates the smoke in which other people assume there’s fire.  -Anonymous

In the Book of Proverbs it reads… “Words have the power of life and death”   -Proverbs 18:21

For many of us, we underestimate this truth, we underestimate the power of words, and when it comes to our own words we underestimate the damage we can cause in people’s lives simply by the things we say. Often times, we miss realizing how something so effortless and easy as words could be so powerful, but it’s true, words have the power of life and death.

Think about the power of words. When God created the whole word, the Bible tells us that God actually spoke it into being, “…and God said, let there be light” With all creation, the moment God spoke it, it happened.

We underestimate the power of our words. So what happens?  At times we are careless with them, even reckless. We spend our words often as if they don’t count and don’t really matter.  However, Jesus taught the opposite.

Jesus spoke of the importance if words, as a matter of fact, they are so important that…

Matthew 12:36-37 says…
But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Guys like king David in the Bible learned the power of words…

Post a guard at my mouth, God, set a watch at the door of my lips.” – Psalm 141:3, MSG

David realized these things called words are super powerful, and he’d better be careful. Words are powerful in ways that we could never imagine…

In fact…

o.o1 Words show exactly what’s in the heart.

Luke 6:45  The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.

You know there are really only two things we need to observe in a person’s life to get a good sense of the condition of their heart, one is there checkbook, (Jesus said where you treasure is, there will be your heart also) the other is the words they say, how they talk, what they say, and what they talk about. Words reveal the secret condition of the heart, people who trash talk, people who say mean things, people who gossip, people who use profanity first have a problem in their heart.

You can’t separate what people say and the condition of their heart, words mirror the heart. That’s how it works.

I remember the first church I pastored, there was this guy who looked all spiritual, everybody had the impression that he was some really great, faithful christian. He carried a bible around at all times, he has to be a super Christian right?  Well, one day he was helping to put some siding on one our buildings and he hit his thumb with the hammer. Out of his mouth came about every cuss word you could think of. Everybody was in shock.  What was deep within his heart was revealed in his words.

Proverbs 10:19 When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.

If you go to church, think about church life. If you work, think about your office life. When you see people getting around their agendas and talking it up, people murmuring about what they don’t like going on and what they are going to do about, and people having little secret conversations about this person or that person, you know, there’s a pretty good chance, some sin is going on as some not good things from the heart are coming out in words.

In college, I use to curse like a sailor, but when God changed my heart, my words changed almost overnight.  Why?  Because words reveal the heart, you can’t get around it, it’s like the guy at the church who hit his thumb, eventually you are found out, your words give you away. As Jesus taught, how we talk, what we say when we talk, the kind of words we choose, and how we use words in life say more about the condition of our heart than perhaps anything else.

o.o2 Words powerfully influence our future

James 3:3-6  When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal.  Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go.  Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.  The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

Here, James is teaching us that how we speak, what we say to our self, and the words we put out actually steer our lives, like a rudder steers a boat.

Jesus taught His disciples about the power of words one day while walking along the road when he cursed a fig tree. When they went back that same way the next morning, the tree had withered from the roots.

And then he told them, Mark 11:22-24 22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.  Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

See, there is a very real and biblical sense that your future is tied into how you speak to yourself and to others. Imagine if we were to start speaking towards the kind of future we want to have. The Bible says we reap what we sow.  So, we can’t expect to be speaking words of death to ourselves and to others and then it result in a future full of life.  If all you are speaking is death into your marriage, or your children, or your church, or your work, or your health, or your self-worth, you can’t expect it to translate into a future full of life.

So, instead of letting the confessions of your heart and the words you speak be tainted with death, defeat, and doubt, they need to be anointed with the oil of faith, trust, hopefulness, and love. Words can have a powerful determination of your future. How do you expect your marriage to turn around when all you say to yourself and maybe even to your spouse is, “this is never going to get any better, I just don’t see this thing ever working out?” How do you expect your self-esteem and confidence to get any better when all you say to yourself and even to other people is “I’m too fat”  or  “I am not as good as they are” or  “I have made too many mistakes?”

We need to be speaking the Word of God and speaking from the Word of God into our life. Change your self talk, change the way you talk to others, and you can change your future and maybe theirs too.

o.o3 Words can make or break other people

When it comes to the words we speak, not only is our future at stake, but other people’s futures are at stake.

Proverbs 12:18 Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

What’s this saying? Our words are on of the most powerful weapons we  have for good or for bad, and the choice is ours.

If you are the kind of person that isn’t careful with your words, do you realize what your gossip and trash talking is doing? Do you have any sense of what your mean, hurtful words are causing?  There is almost nothing more powerful to hurt people, to hurt an organization, and to get in the way of God than gossip, trash talking, and talking negatively about people or things going on.

You say, “Well, how do I know if I am gossiping, or trash talking, how do I know if it is gossip or not?

Here is a way that has been helpful for me… T.H.I.N.K about what you are saying before you say it. If you answer “no” to any of the following, there is a pretty good chance that what you are about to say is gossip.

T-   Is it True?  Do you know for sure that what you are about to say is a fact?  Did you learn it first hand, and therefore it’s not just your own opinion or somebody else’s?  Have you spoken with that person directly and confirmed your assumptions? If not, you may need to just zip it.

H-  Is it Helpful? Is your talking about whatever it is going to help or hurt, make more problems or less problems, create conflict or solve it, or help the situation or make it worse?  Is what you are going to say speaking more about your agenda or God’s? Is it something that God wants you to say, or something you alone want to say?  If what you want to say isn’t going to help God, that person, or the situation, if it isn’t going to partner with the Holy Spirit, you may need to just zip it.

I-   Is it Inspiring?  Does it put that person in the best light and give the benefit of the doubt? Does it believe in the best, does it hope for the best? Does it promote wholesome talk or pollute it? Does it cause others to believe in the best, or does it cause others to conclude the worst.  If it assumes the worst, you may just need to zip it.

N-   Is it Necessary?  Does what you want to say really need to be said? Is it really anybody’s else’s business? Is it necessary for you to talk about?.  Should you be talking about it with other people when you haven’t even gone face to face with that person? If it isn’t completely necessary, you may just need to zip it.

K-   Is it Kind? Does it build, does it speak the truth in love? Are your words the same kind of words Jesus would say about that person?  Are your words motivated out of real love and wanting to see the best happen in that person’s life or the situation at hand?  If not, you may need to zip it.

Sure, there are moments when tough things absolutely need to be said, emotions need to be vented, and difficult situations dealt with. Jesus himself had some very tough conversations and some verbally poignant things to say to and about people. Some, that could even be considered hurtful and mean-spirited. At times, there is nothing politically correct, watered down, nor polished about Jesus and His use of words.  Yet, the over all principal remains…

Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.



It really is true, words have great power.

Just ask the parents of Megan Mier, a 13 year old who was bullied on myspace with words. Message after message was sent to her by one particular boy, messages like, “The world would be a better place without you.”  The words got so bad and destructive that in her room one afternoon, she hung herself with tears in her eyes.

We can use words to harm people or to heal people. Never underestimate the power of words. The choice is ours. Jesus used words to do the miraculous, and He commands us to do the same.

“I can live two months on a good compliment.” –Mark Twain

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