Gossip and detraction and the power of intercession

In my Rosary devotions, one of the areas of sin in my life that I am making a concerted effort to overcome is in the area of gossip and detraction.

Which brings me to this devotional of Oswald Chambers’ on God-given discernment concerning others and what we are supposed to do about it.  My emphases.

Heedfulness or Hypocrisy in Ourselves?


If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death —1 John 5:16

If we are not heedful and pay no attention to the way the Spirit of God works in us, we will become spiritual hypocrites. We see where other people are failing, and then we take our discernment and turn it into comments of ridicule and criticism, instead of turning it into intercession on their behalf. God reveals this truth about others to us not through the sharpness of our minds but through the direct penetration of His Spirit. If we are not attentive, we will be completely unaware of the source of the discernment God has given us, becoming critical of others and forgetting that God says, “. . . he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death.” Be careful that you don’t become a hypocrite by spending all your time trying to get others right with God before you worship Him yourself.

One of the most subtle and illusive burdens God ever places on us as saints is this burden of discernment concerning others. He gives us discernment so that we may accept the responsibility for those souls before Him and form the mind of Christ about them (see Philippians 2:5). We should intercede in accordance with what God says He will give us, namely, “life for those who commit sin not leading to death.” It is not that we are able to bring God into contact with our minds, but that we awaken ourselves to the point where God is able to convey His mind to us regarding the people for whom we intercede.

Can Jesus Christ see the agony of His soul in us? He can’t unless we are so closely identified with Him that we have His view concerning the people for whom we pray. May we learn to intercede so wholeheartedly that Jesus Christ will be completely and overwhelmingly satisfied with us as intercessors.


So, recently I have been trying to apply the truths of this text by interceding instead of giving way to the critical spirit and after falling prey to that, giving way to the temptation to vent to a friend about what I am seeing.

The results have been astonishing and amazing so far.

The other thing that goes with this aspect of discernment is something I read somewhere in a post about spiritual counselling.  The Christian counsellor wrote that he could always tell how Satan was attacking a person by the feelings or reactions that person drew up in him when he or she was in his presence.

A young woman who prompted sexual temptation he realized Satan was trying to destroy through sexual abuse.    A young man who prompted the temptation to reject him was being destroyed by Satan through loneliness and rejection.

This whole thing about rejection has perked my interest lately because of some things that came out in a session at Ottawa’s Holy Spirit Healing Clinic.  We had divided into small groups and were assigned to pray for one another.   When it was my turn for prayer, I wondered where to begin.   My arthritic feet?   My blood pressure?   Or what was a cutting edge concern in my spiritual life and that was the lack of love I was experiencing towards some people in my life and how much I fell short of participating in the love of Jesus, of sharing in His Sacred Heart.  So that’s what I asked for prayer on.

The very-experienced Pauline zeroed in on a spirit of rejection—one that was operating in my life and made me fear rejection but at the same time reject others.

It did not feel like a big breakthrough and rejection is not something I am consciously struggling with, but it did give me something to pray about and observe in my life.

And some is the way the sin of others touches on an area of unacknowledged sin-bondage in my own soul.   

So, back to my Rosaries, which I am finding a lot more fruitful spiritually than blogging.  So please excuse me!

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1 Response to Gossip and detraction and the power of intercession

  1. Pingback: Gossip and detraction and the power of intercession | Catholic Canada

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