It’s been said: “People will believe anything if you whisper it.”
Perhaps that’s true. Maybe we preachers should start whispering the gospel so it can compete with gossip. Perhaps, however, the most important thing is not what’s whispered in our ears, but rather what we whisper in our own heads. Some of us would never repeat gossip about others (so you’d better listen carefully the first time), but we may gossip easily about ourselves to ourselves. How much better if we whispered the gospel to ourselves instead!
Gossip, according the Cambridge Dictionary, is conversation about someone that is “unkind, disapproving, or not true.” Unfortunately, that’s exactly the type of thing some of us regularly whisper to ourselves.
Unkind? How about these? “I’m so stupid! I have no will power! I’m just not good at that! I’ll never amount to anything! Or I can’t!” Do you ever whisper similar words to yourself?
And disapproving? Who’s your harshest critic? Others may wonder about our flaws, but we know every one of them all too intimately. And we harp on them to ourselves. “You’re getting fat. Look at all that gray hair; you’re getting old! I can’t stand the way you laugh.”
Remarks that aren’t true? We gossip about ourselves in that way, too. “I never get anything right!” Really? Never? You’re reading this column; at least one of us thinks that’s brilliant! It simply isn’t true that anybody “always” fails or “never” gets it right.
We need to stop the lies of self-gossip. As Mark Twain once said, “"One of the most striking differences between a cat and a lie is that a cat has only nine lives." The lies we whisper to ourselves are repeated so often they begin to ring true.
In stark contrast to our personal gossip, stands God’s gospel. His gospel shouts that we are made in the image of God, that we’ve been granted the right to become his children, that through Jesus we can be qualified to share his inheritance, that we are loved unconditionally and unendingly, that in everything God will work for our good, that we are more than conquerors, able to do all things, and destined to receive more than we can ask or imagine. That’s the truth! Whisper it constantly to yourself. It comes from God’s mouth to your ear.
His gospel or your gossip? Which would you rather whisper to yourself?