Grab a hot coffee or tea and join us at the Bible Cafe™. This week we are discussing week four of Acts: Awakening to God in Everyday Life by Melissa Spoelstra. As we gather in womens online Bible Study we study, connect, and grow.

In our womens small groups, we talked about songs, hymns, or Bible passages that strengthen and encourage us. My friends, what a marvelous blessing to see your playlist and your life verses. I wrote down many of your suggestions after our small group meeting. The Womens Bible Cafe™ community has some very helpful conversations each week- thank you!

One of my favorite lessons this week is when Melissa Spoelstra cautioned against gossip to maintain church harmony. For me, gossip is a stronghold that I had to overcome in my life. Looking back I see how gossip became familiar in my family gatherings. It was so familiar, we never questioned our gossip talk at the family table. Now after studying this at the Womens Bible Cafe, I see the stronghold and the fruit of the world. It’s a conviction to change the words we speak and be mindful about carrying on conversations with people who are not in the room or at the table.

This same stronghold can seep into churches too. Gossip can attach itself to a prayer request. Or an observation about the pastor that is spoken with a negative heart. We need to examine our conversations in church and at home. Open your social media page and you are bombarded with gossip disgusied as “news.” My sweet friends, guard your heart and mind against the temptation to share gossip!

The early Church worked out disagreements by talking, listening, connecting with Scripture, and giving grace. Wouldn’t it be great if we use the same toolbox in our modern churches too?

Open your Bible to Galatians 1:10 NLT: “Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.” This tells us that people-pleasing becomes a stumbling block to our spiritual growth. Again, we need to examine our hearts and see if we are walking by the fruit of the world. People pleasing satisfies pride and selfish ambition. These are not Fruits of the Spirit.

As the New King James Version warns, let’s not become a bondservant of people. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ. Galatians 1:10 NKJV

As we mature in faith, we will become better at overcoming the temptations of gossip and people-pleasing. Think about when you first came to faith, and where you are today. This is your spiritual journey.

Turn your Bible to Acts 17:11 NLT: “And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.” What can we learn and apply to our own lives from the Bereans? We can search the Scriptures as a measuring tool for truth.

Read Ephesians 4:14 NLT: Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever, they sound like the truth. 

This needs to be in your spiritual toolbox. Seek the wise and do not take advice from the foolish. Be intentional to spend time with people who lead you to your Bible.

Christine Abraham writes for the Bible Cafe™ community. Learn about living by the Fruit of the Spirit as you enjoy her online Bible studies. Join Christine at the Bible Cafe™ University for weekly Bible teaching.