The latest social media craze has caused a lot of confusion and stress. I mean, how can we look at the same thing and yet have two different answers? Although, I did find it entertaining and wanted to know what other people saw in the dress, it made me think of Proverbs 21:2, “ Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the heart” ( NASB). I look at the dress and I’m convinced I see the truth and I tell others “my version of truth”, yet another person looks at the same dress and they see a whole other “truth” and they go tell others about it. And this is how the gossips are born! We talk to someone and make an assumption of our own truth (based on our feelings) and spread our perception. We don’t even realize that our assumption is far from reality. You know how they say, “there are two sides to each story”, I say “there are three: yours, theirs and the truth”. We are not unaware how fast rumors spread and how deeply they hurt, I am sure we’ve all been victims of it.
Did you know rumor spreading is allowed in the Bible? As I studied recently I stumbled upon an interesting verse in 1 Thessalonians 1:8 “For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything.” In the original Greek the phrase “has gone forth” means : the reports, THE RUMORS, the precepts, to be made known, to declare, TO SPREAD, to proclaim , emitted as from the heart or the mouth . (Strong’s G1831)
Do you see what I see? The believers in Thessalonica were spreading rumors all over the place, but not just rumors that hurt, devastate, and were based on personal perception, they spread FAITH RUMORS. The Scripture states clearly “the WORD OF THE LORD has sounded forth from you”. Their rumors were based on one solid truth, no doubts or guessing about the Word. You can’t look at white and see black in the Word. Their faith was based on Christ and His Word and they couldn’t keep their mouths shut. They could nott keep this secret to themselves. They shared it with many people; in every place they went to, their faith was in them and they were sharing it away! Now, this is what I call a massive rumor spread! They spread the Word of God so much that Paul, Silas and Timothy had nothing else to say! They pretty much made Paul speechless! I love it! The believers in this passage emptied themselves out sharing the Gospel! Holy rumors! This is a divine transmission of the message from mouth to mouth. Here is the part that really tugged my heart: their faith rumors were not merely words, it was their lifestyle, their daily choices. People listened to them because they saw consistency of their theology and their reality. People saw that their message was contagious, because it was real, it was life changing, it was heart shaping, a soul transforming message of life through Christ Jesus. In 1 Thessalonians 2:8 Paul says “we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us.”. Do you see this? Gospel sharing + sharing our own lives = effective evangelism. I heard the other on television someone saying “ if your life makes sense to unbelievers, you’re doing it wrong”.
I said all this, to say this: we need to get better at rumor spreading, but we need to be doing it right! We need to be so full of the Word and God’s presence that we too may cry out like the prophet Jeremiah, “But then His message becomes like a fire locked up inside of me, burning in my heart and soul. I grow weary of trying to hold it in; I cannot contain it.” (Jeremiah 20:9; NET Bible). This is the only rumor the Bible approves of so let’s get good at it. Let’s make a difference sharing not only our faith, but our very lives. Let’s be consistent with our lives, let’s lead others to the true hope and life they can have through Christ. May the courage and power of the Holy Spirit be upon us. May the Lord cause us to increase and overflow with love for one another, and may He make our hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all the saints. Amen. (1 Thessalonians 3:12-13)
(A special thanks to Tonya LeGrande for the design of the cover picture.)