Tag Archives: gossip

June 1; Who Are You?

Proverbs 16-18

Solomon gives us a chance to do a spiritual exploratory surgery on ourselves. When you read these Proverbs, when you make each of them about you – what do you find? Who are you?

Proverbs 16 has us looking at our hearts, our motives, and attitudes. Are we committed to God, humble, loving and faithful, kind, honest, wise and discerning? Is what is in our hearts pure, so that what comes out of our mouths, and through our actions also pure?

Chapter 17 takes a closer look at our speech. Do we say wicked things? Do we lie, mock, gloat? Are we arrogant, gossips, quarreling people, perverse? Solomon says, “Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.” Have we learned that truth for ourselves?

Proverbs 18 explores humility. Solomon calls prideful people unfriendly, fools, wicked, foolish. “Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.

God, through Solomon, tells that what is in our hearts is revealed by what we say and do. If I am prideful, is my heart pure? If I use vulgar language, or gossip, is my heart pure? If there is any wicked way in me, can my heart be pure?

I’ve had several surgeries in my lifetime, and I know it’s not pleasant. It hurts. But sometimes you just have to find what is making you unhealthy, and cut it out.

I hope you’ll do some spiritual exploratory surgery today. Who are you?

 

Numbers 12; Without My Two Cents

Moses’ own siblings, Aaron and Miriam, were talking about Moses behind his back. They complained about his wife, and were jealous of his following. And, like most gossip, their complaints got back to Moses.

How did he react? The Bible tells us “Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.” (12:3)

Sounds like Moses “turned the other cheek.” There is no record that he defended himself. Oh, say something against God and Moses would be in your face. Say something about Moses, and he’ll either ignore you, or go to God about it.

As it turned out, God handled it without Moses doing a thing.

It’s unrealistic to think, especially for those of you in positions of authority, that everyone is going to love and/or agree with you all the time. (Ask President Trump). But I’ve found that often, when I react to gossip, or try to defend myself, I can make matters worse.

That’s not to say that there aren’t times when God will prompt us to speak up against gossip or slander or threats of some kind. Then, I believe, He’ll give us the words to say to bring about a solution that brings glory to Himself. But unless I know He is nudging me toward action, I’d like to react like Matthew Henry says Moses reacted: He, as a deaf man, heard not.

I want to learn from Moses’ example. I want to learn when to just keep my mouth shut. I want to learn that if God thinks it’s necessary to defend me, He’s able to do that without my two cents.

Sticks, Stones, and Swearing

Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me.

I understand why adults tell children that to help them ignore mean things other children say. But is it true that words can’t hurt? Reputations have been ruined, riots have started, lives shattered, when someone says something that hurts.

James, in chapter 3, tells us our tongues can be untamable. He says our tongues control us. What comes out of the mouth reflects what is in our hearts.

Slander? Gossip? Lies? Coarse language? Dirty jokes? Venom? People say, “pissed off” quite easily these days. or “OMG”, or worse. What does that say about what is in the heart?

The question is, do I want my words to come from God’s heart, or not. James says sometimes what we say comes straight from hell. When I read that, I have to stop in my tracks and consider what is in my heart. Can a person whose heart is given completely to God say things that offend Him?

The thing about words is once they are out they can’t be taken back. Damage is done, and often irreparable. Sometimes the hurt is never healed.

Control the tongue, you control your whole self, James says. Control the tongue and reveal Christ to everyone within hearing distance.

Father, I pray for all of us today as we consider our vocabulary. Is how we express ourselves any different from how people who don’t know you express themselves? If there are those things we say that offend You, point it out to us. Convict us. And may we be quick to repent. May the words of our mouths be pleasing to you. And may others recognize that our words come from Your heart.

Not-So-Common Sense

The Proverbs are rich in common sense (or not-so-common these days). Today I read in chapter 16 where it says a whisper can destroy a friendship.

Why is it some people think they have to tell everything they think they know? Why do some stretch the truth or pass on an opinion as fact? Why is it some people are intent on stirring things up, living in drama every day? And how many friendships, even marriages, could be saved if we would learn to control our tongues? (Read what James has to say on that subject in chapter three of his book).

You might whisper the latest gossip into the ear of your closest friend, but once you do you have no control over where it goes from there. And you have no control over the hurt caused by your little whisper. The damage is already done.

It’s like the internet, social media. A hard lesson many people have had to learn is that anything posted can NEVER be completely erased. That picture will always be in cyber space, accessible to anyone. That email sent in private is not so private there on the server.

A whisper, a text, a post can destroy your relationships, can destroy lives. Are you ok with that? Are you willing to be a part of that?

It should be common sense to know that spreading gossip is destructive. It should be common sense to know that the less said, the better on most subjects, especially if the subject is really none of your business or the business of the person you are telling. But God knew we don’t always use the sense we have, common or not.

So he inspired men to write down some common rules of living. Like what I read today in Proverbs. Like what James had to say.

Next time you are tempted to pass on that juicy bit of information… zip it. Show a little not-so-common sense.

Heavenly Father, I thank you for our tongues. That amazing muscle helps us speak, taste, swallow, chew. It’s a pretty handy invention you have there. But God, may we be reminded the power we have in the use of our tongues. May we control them, whether tempted to whisper that gossip in the ear of a friend, or use our fingers to type out the words before we hit “send”. May the words of our mouths and the meditation of hearts be acceptable to you, Lord. And may we use our words to build up, encourage one another rather than be any part of tearing somebody down.

May 13

2 Samuel 18:19-33; 19:1-43; Psalms 64, 70, 84, 141, 143

Why do some people have the tendency to want to be in the know? Is it that important to be the first with the news? Ahimaaz couldn’t wait to get to David to tell him about the battle that killed Absalom. After begging for permission to go he outran the messenger to get to David first in order to break the story. CNN has nothing on old Ahimaaz.

Finally David is back on the throne. The Jewish nation could be united at last. But did you read what was happening behind the scenes?

He’s my cousin. Oh yeah well my mom was in card club with his mom. Big deal. His sister dated a friend of my neighbor’s uncle. Yeah? I know for a fact he likes catsup on his fries.

STOP!

Do you realize the person who is most impressed with your knowledge is you? I think we need to be careful not to cross the thin line between genuine caring and gossip.

The men of Israel and Judah missed the point. It wasn’t about them. It was about David. It was about a reunited nation.

And what did Ahimaaz get for being the man with the news? Probably just sore feet.

May we get our priorities straight. If sharing what we know edifies, encourages, further’s God’s kingdom then may we tell it all. But if there is a hint of pride, or self-satisfaction may we button up!

Lord, may your children recognize gossip for what it is. May we take a good look at ourselves and check our motives when tempted to share what we think we know about someone else. And may all we do and say glorify you.

January 3

Genesis 7-9

Does God hate gossip? Take a look at Ham, Noah’s son. The flood is over and they are on dry ground. They established homes, planted crops and got down to the business of living. Eight people who obeyed God and loved each other.

But when Noah had too much to drink and passed out naked in his own tent, he probably expected privacy. Ham, for whatever reason, went to see his dad and saw Noah’s disgraceful situation. How did he react? Ham couldn’t wait to get to his brothers to tell them what he had seen.

Ham probably justified it with, “they have a right to know” and may even started his tale with, “I don’t want to be mean but…” Ham tells his brothers that Dad is drunk and naked in his tent. He may even have chuckled about it some.

The result was a curse on Ham and his descendants. They would be the lowest servants among servants, disgraced as Ham had disgraced Noah. If Ham had covered his father, or even quietly turned and walked away and not told what he had seen, we might never have known Noah was drunk that day.

The lesson for me here today is – I don’t need to tell everything I know. Gossip is sin. It’s mean and disgraceful even if I try to cover it with, “they have a right to know”.

Lord, guard my heart and curb my tongue today. May I recognize gossip for what it is and determine not to listen to it or spread it myself.