We’ve been looking at the unpleasant reality of dealing with gossip, backbiting and jealousy. Certainly many work environments are filled with those things, and we need guidance on how to deal with this. But before we can deal with it in others, we must clean any trace of it out of our own lives.
In Romans 1:29-31 we see that malice, gossip and slander are listed with murder and haters of God. We need to remind ourselves of how God views these sins. They’re not just personality defects or bad habits. They are deadly, awful, despicable sins. The Bible couldn’t be clearer on this point.
We should understand that our old human natures will be readily inclined to retaliate if we are the brunt of the gossip and jealousy of others. And usually that retaliation leads us to use those same tactics on others. Probably a more subtle form is letting others bring us into their gossip, and before we know it we’re joining them in disparaging others and talking behind their backs. Remember too that willfully listening to derogatory discussions is not much better than joining in.
Disciples of Jesus Christ operate under different rules. That’s the way it is, and it applies to our business worlds as much as to anything else. He wants us to love unlovable people; His career path to the top is by taking the last place and yielding to the rights of others. That means no jealous maneuvering on our part. That means no gossiping or backbiting. That means turning the other cheek, and suffering unjustly at times. Those are our guidelines.
You say, “Well, we’ll always end up on the bottom of the pile. Everyone will take advantage of us. We’ll never get ahead.” That may be true, though not necessarily. But it simply does not change the fact that to be His disciple, the price is complete obedience. John wrote that to love God is to obey His commands. And His commands are not burdensome (I John 5:3). So, no matter how unreasonable it may seem, or how difficult, we can trust God that His commands are not burdensome; He will enable us to obey if we love Him enough.
Are you in a spot where there is a lot of gossip, backbiting and jealousy? Ask God to help you shine like a light in that dark world. You’re not there by accident, if you are a child of God, and if you can operate there without letting it taint you or bring you down, you’re bound to be a wonderful testimony to people all around who can’t help but notice the difference.
Written by Mary Whelchel, founder and president of The Christian Working Woman. © christianworkingwoman.org Used with permission. All rights reserved. Content distributed by WorkLife.org > used for non-profit teaching purposes only.