Friday, October 21, 2016

Gossip: the waste of misdirection

Friday, October 21, 2016
    And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
    —Philippians 1:9-11 (ESV)
    When we look at the history of the Church, at the reckless fashion in which we have squandered our strength and time in fratricidal struggles between sect and sect, in embittered bickerings over matters often of secondary moment, while the world about us lies unwon, and the Church’s great commission remains plainly unfulfilled, surely we can understand that outburst of Erasmus, when he cried that he wished that we would cease from our disputings altogether, and put all that energy and zeal that we are wasting upon them into the carrying of the Gospel to the heathen! Or recall the infinite pains that have been taken, down the centuries, to preserve minute orthodoxy in all points of mental belief while ugly evils flaunt along the streets and are accepted meekly as part of the makeup of things! Or recollect how easy it is to assume that we, ourselves, are Christian people. Why? Oh, well, just the usual reasons: we say our prayers, when we are not too sleepy; and we come to church, when there is nothing much to do; and so, of course, there is no doubt of it, although our tempers may remain uncurbed, and our characters are not the least like Jesus Christ’s, nor growing any nearer it! Do we not need that solemn warning that Christ gives us when He tells us bluntly that many people lose their lives and souls, because they are always laying the emphasis and stress on the wrong points?
    ... A. J. Gossip (1873-1954), The Galilean Accent, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1926, p. 236-237 (see the book)
    See also Phil. 1:9-11; Matt. 23:13; Rom. 2:17-21; 1 Tim. 1:3-4; 2 Tim. 2:14,16; 4:3-4; Tit. 1:13-14; 2 Pet. 1:16
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, lead me to use Your gifts to Your glory and to the benefit of Your church.
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