1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 : “And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves. “
I believe we have all been guilty one time or another talking negatively about someone. This definitely contradicts the verse above instructing us to highly love our brethren and to be at peace among ourselves.
Participating in “negative conversation” sows a seed of discord – a lack of harmony. Proverbs 6:16-19 says that one of the things the Lord hates is sowing discord among brethren. Wow! The Lord hates it.
Many times we may not even be the person talking, but we listen and maybe even interject our thoughts agreeing with the conversation. We may not have SOWN the seed…. But we sure fertilized it!
I recently read an article about the Hebrew word Lashon Ha-Ra, which means disparaging speech. The author stated that in Jewish law it is believed that when gossip occurs it kills three: the person who speaks it, the person who hears it, and the person about whom it is told. It is also believed the person who listens to hearsay is even worse than the person who tells it. No harm could be done by gossip if no one listened to it.
I examine myself today and ask “Among my brethren….Am I sowing seeds of discord or seeds of love and unity?” A dear friend of mine was right on when he said to me recently “Hey – if God hates it… then how much more should we?” Amen to that!