Above All - Unity!
Greek Mythology tells of Cadmus who, while searching for his sister, came upon a dragon that blocked his travel. Cadmus fought and killed the fierce dragon. Then he pulled out all the teeth of the savage beast and buried them in field. The next time he traveled that way he was surprised to discover that every tooth had become an armed giant. It seemed impossible that he could pass through their midst. How could he overcome them?
He thought of a scheme. While hiding behind a tree, he threw a stone. One of the giants, thinking another giant had struck him, hit him in return. The other giants began to take sides and quarrel. Their fighting escalated and soon involved their weapons. Finally, all the giants were drawn into the fray. Before long all were dead or wounded. Then Cadmus was able to pass.
The church is full of potential spiritual giants. But when Satan sows seeds of discord through gossip and taking our mind off of why we exist, then we will end up fighting one another. When brothers fight, it gives Satan great pleasure. James asks, “What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members.” (James 4:1)
Two Things: Gossip or Gospel? Someone once said that gossip is just as malicious as murder.
Many years ago the Moody Church News carried a humorous story about a woman in a small town who was know for being a gossip. One day on vacation she visited the offices of The Chicago Daily News. She was wearing a white dress and inadvertently leaned against a wall where a freshly printed copy of the front page was hanging. It was a hot, humid day, and some of the print came off on the back of her white dress.
Later, as she walked down the street to meet her husband, she noticed that people walking behind her were snickering. When she reached the place where her husband was waiting, she asked him if there was anything on her back that shouldn't be there. As she turned around, he read the large black reversed letters: sweN ylaiD. Realizing the appropriateness of the words, he said, "No, dear, nothing's on your back that doesn't belong there."
What should be our response to those who gossip about us? I like Winston Churchill’s approach: Winston Churchill exemplified integrity and respect in the face of opposition. During his last year in office, he attended an official ceremony. Several rows behind him two gentlemen began whispering. "That's Winston Churchill." "They say he is getting senile." "They say he should step aside and leave the running of the nation to more dynamic and capable men." When the ceremony was over, Churchill turned to the men and said, "Gentlemen, they also say he is deaf!"
Replace Gossip with Gospel…
I love the story about the little girl named Carol who went with her father for a ferryboat ride in New York Harbor. It was late afternoon as they watched the Statue of Liberty disappear into the fog and shadows of approaching dusk.
Later that night, Carol tossed restlessly in her bed. The father sat down beside her, “What’s the matter, honey?”
“Oh, Daddy,” she replied. “I’ve been thinking about the lovely lady out there in the darkness all by herself. She needs someone to help her hold up the lamp in the dark.”
When we gossip we participate in the shadows of darkness, but when we teach and proclaim the gospel we are holding up the light – the light of Jesus, which brings unity and power and purpose.
For His purposes and His service,