The subject of spiritual gossip may be for us a controversy. You may wish to ask ‘How does that happen?’ Or more so declare that it is not possible. I for once have also thought that way until the Lord opened my eyes to see that it is actually a canker worm eating up the body of Christ. You may be a victim or maybe not. But I tell you, it does exist. In this article, we shall begin to study about what it means and also examine our lives to see if there are areas it is manifest. I therefore beg that you rid yourself of everything in other to face this course squarely. Let us read from the Holy Scriptures.
Matt. 20: 1-16
For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. Now when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went. Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing idle, and said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right you will receive.’ So when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, ‘Call the laborers and give them their wages, beginning with the last to the first.’ And when those came who were hired about the eleventh hour, they each received a denarius.
But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received each a denarius.
And when they had received it, they complained against the landowner, saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.’
But he answered one of them and said, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? ‘Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you.
‘Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?’ So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.”
I purposely allowed us to read quit a long passage in other to have a background understanding of the scenario that Jesus was painting. At first, the parable was likened to the Kingdom of God, and from that perspective, we will view this passage which centers majorly on the spiritual characteristics of persons that have entered and implications of such characteristics.
From the above passage, you will understand that the parable typifies how people are brought into a contract relationship with the Lord. From the story, you can easily point out categorically the two covenant relationship though different hourly recruitment is more clearly seen. This Spiritual characteristic was meant in other to point out clearly why one of the two relationship approaches will no longer hold.
Wait! Before you talk, let me explain.
In the first instance, there was bidding – the good man of the house agreed with the laborers on a specified payment for service. They agreed for a denarius and so were hired. In the second category, there was no bidding. The laborers agreed to work for the Goodman trusting that whatever the Goodman of the house will pay is okay. These two scenarios represent the two covenants that the father has provided to help man to come into his kingdom; the old covenant which is the covenant of codes and conducts, and the new covenant (that will replace the old, not to go side by side with it) which also is the covenant of grace.
Now before we proceed, let us have a look at the difference between the two recruitments processes we saw in the Scripture.
At first, the covenant of codes and laws came before the covenant of grace. This however left some persons (Gentiles) not to come into divine covenant relationship with the Goodman of the house. The covenant of codes was not extended to everyone, but only to the Hebrews – the Jews. So initially, the Goodman of the house agreed with the first set of laborers for a pay. This covenant relationship came into being, out of the share behavioral pattern of the laborer, the man – that he also can do what the Lord would demand of him. So, God enumerated to him what he would want them to do in other to be acceptable before Him – that is the law.
After the first set of laborers has been hired, the Goodman of the house saw that the string on the payment modalities could not accommodate all men (No man had hired them), He made the provision of the grace covenant that only centers on the trust one has for the Goodman of the house (Whatever is good, I will pay says the Goodman. Hmmm! This agreement is baseless from the worldly point of view. No worldly person will agree to this contract).
These two covenants have great effect on our spiritual behaviors. This article however centers on Spiritual Gossip.
What does it mean to be a gossip?
Someone that does poke nose into issues that does not concern him or her.
The major cause of spiritual gossip is the law. The law shows us codes and conducts, how to live and how not to live. Before I proceed, I want to make it clear that I am not in any way saying that the law is bad. In fact, I consent to the fact that the law is good if it is used according to the way it is planned. 1 Timothy 1:8
The man that is under the law is that man that says to God:
“Oh God, please tell me all that I will do in other to please you”. This prayer sounds very much spiritual and good, but when he is told, he lives God behind thinking that that way, he would please him. It seems to me that it was the same demand of the first set of laborers which typifies the initial covenant that God had with man – On mount Sinai in Arabia (the law): “What are we going to gain if we will come into this contract with you?….”
The man that is very much law conscious and not Christ conscious is such that thinks that the moment he finishes the demands of the master, he can earn his favor, but the truth of the matter is that no flesh can fulfill the righteous demands of the law.
Whereas the subject of this article is not about the law and grace, but the two covenants are what determines our spiritual characteristics. A man living under codes and conducts tends to judge others by codes and conducts; what he considers good and what he considers bad. This was what brought about the spiritual poke-nosing we saw in that Scripture.
A man that refuses to enter into God’s kingdom through grace will definitely be ejected because of the sin of ‘Spiritual gossip’. The man that enters through the law usually has a lot of things to struggle about. And when they tend not to see others passing through the same struggles they passed through and yet are accepted by the master, they resort to questions like: Why should it be so? They question people’s Christianity saying words like: They are not born again correctly; He is not a good sister or brother and so on.
However, from the Scripture, it only takes agreement with the Goodman of the house to enter into His labor, and that is the covenant of grace. The ability to do demands of the master is what He, the master will decide in the house when one has been recruited and not before recruitment. Because of the way they were accepted into the labor, those that entered through the grace covenant have nothing to boast about.
“…not of works, lest anyone should boast…” (Eph 2:9)
There’s no room for comparison.
“For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”
(2 Cor 10:12)
Such men live with the knowledge of the fact that it is no longer I but Christ that lives. (Ref Gal 2:20)
I never intended to make this article a long one. Now I want to close but not without the verdict of the master concerning those holding firm on the sin of spiritual gossip.
“’Take what is yours and go your way…”
In the next series, we shall study the implication of this verdict.
Examine your life. Are you judgmental? – That is the quiet mind of the law at work in your life. Will you debug your heart of all arrangement you made with the law. May be that might be the basis of your coming to Christ. If so, can you beg God for mind renewal? Will you deliberately submit your tablet of stones, your heart, with the list of dos and don’ts and say, “Lord, I believe on your own terms”. It is not first of all the reward or the labor. It is first, ‘believing on the master’. If that is your prayer, can you deliberately ask God to deliver you from the law mentality?
May the Lord bless His word in our hearts in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
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