When I left my job at a Christian college to take a position at a major retailer’s corporate office, I knew I was leaving the comfort of a close-knit, Christian community. But, I also knew I wanted to work in a place where I would have more opportunities to share the Gospel. I didn’t consider that the temptation to sin, particularly to gossip, would be far greater at my new job.
Gossip is rampant in my office. Not a day goes by where two people aren’t gossiping. And yes, I want to join in! Applying the Gospel to this situation has helped me avoid giving in to the temptation to gossip.
Nothing is hidden
First, I know Jesus is Lord. He is Lord over my career (Proverbs 16:9). He placed me in this job in this specific department with these specific people for a reason. Jesus is also the Creator (Genesis 1:27). He created each of my coworkers (and me) in His image and gave us the unique qualities that make us who we are. Jesus is also omniscient, all-knowing. The words I say might be hidden from others, but they are not hidden from Jesus.
The pull to sin
This leads to my sin issue here: the temptation to gossip. Proverbs 10:18 says, “The one who conceals hatred has lying lips, and whoever utters slander is a fool.” I might think that the person I am talking about is the fool, but when I gossip, I am the fool. Even in the moments when I’m nodding my head in agreement to my co-workers’ gossip, though not verbally gossiping, I am still sinning.
I am also seeing the sin of pride. I believe the lie that somehow by tearing someone else down, I am highlighting how great a person I am. Kind of contradictory, huh? I’m going to slander someone to prove that I am not like that, and somehow that makes me better? Also, by gossiping I am being dishonest. I’ve shared that I am a believer with a number of my co-workers, and gossiping only discredits my profession of faith in Jesus.
Power through Jesus
Thankfully, I have Jesus as my Savior. Jesus lived the perfect, gossip-free life that I cannot. Not only did he live a perfect life, He paid the penalty for my sin of gossiping. He rose again, defeating death and ensuring that, through Him, I have the power to fight this sin. And though I struggle with wanting to be accepted by others, I’m forgetting that I’ve been fully accepted by the Father through Jesus. I must remember Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 12:9: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
Becoming more righteous
I can live out these gospel truths in faith. The Holy Spirit is at work in me, reminding me that one of the reasons I chose this position was to be a light for the Lord, and joining in the office gossip would not bring glory to God. In faith, I can trust that I am becoming more righteous through Jesus. Colossians 3:8-10 says, “But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.”
In faith, I can be honest with my co-workers and remove myself from situations where there is gossip. In faith, I can confess my sin when I falter and rely on Jesus’ strength when I am tempted to sin. In faith, I can trust that Jesus will use me in this new position. Psalm 19:14 says, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” With His power, I can be a light to others and help more come to faith in Him.