I love reading anything Chuck Lawless writes. This insightful piece nails something we all know is true. Chuck addresses issues head on. What you’re about to read, we’ve all been guilty of on some level. I want to be prayer warrior NOT a gossip.—Kathy Litton
I recently published a post on why gossip—at its most basic level, spreading information about others—hurts the church. I noted how most gossips cloak their information in a “prayer request,” so they appear to be a great prayer warrior. Here, though, is how to differentiate between a prayer warrior and a gossip:
- Prayer warriors don’t need every detail; gossips do. Warriors pray with whatever information they’re given, knowing God knows the full story. Gossips want every tidbit of data, lest they not know everything.
- Prayer warriors grieve over prayer concerns; gossips feign grief and internally rejoice because they’re “in the know.” While some weep over tough situations, others delight when they can be purveyors of information few other people know.
- Prayer warriors actually pray over the concerns; gossips only say they do. Just because a gossip shares a “prayer concern” is no reason to believe that he or she spends time talking to God about it. In fact, it’s hard to find time to talk to God when you’re talking to everybody else.
- Prayer warriors pray immediately; gossips immediately begin thinking about others to tell. Warriors hit their knees when they hear a concern. Gossips hit the telephone or the “send” button.
- Prayer warriors long for healing, reconciliation and recommitment; gossips long to hear more. Warriors plead with God to work miracles in the lives of others. Gossips just want to know more about the lives of others.
- Prayer warriors live in the present and future; gossips hold on to the past. Warriors pray today, believing God is going to do something mighty today or tomorrow. Gossips remain in everybody else’s past because their power is lost if yesterday’s story dies.
- Prayer warriors are humbled by their own sin; gossips delight in somebody else’s sin. In fact, gossips refuse to see that their own chatterbox actions are sin.
- Prayer warriors rejoice when God answers; gossips put their ear back to the ground to catch the next story. While warriors celebrate God’s hand, gossips listen for the devil’s victories.
- Others trust prayer warriors; few people trust a gossip. The only people who trust gossips are those who either haven’t learned their reputation or are gossips, too.
What other ways would you add to this list?
Published June 23, 2016