Google+ 08/05/13 Wrongdoers Gossip and Liars Slander!

Proverbs 17:1-4

 

Better a dry crust eaten in peace than a house filled with feasting—and conflict.

A wise servant will rule over the master’s disgraceful son
    And will share the inheritance of the master’s children.

Fire tests the purity of silver and gold, but the Lord tests the heart.

Wrongdoers eagerly listen to gossip; liars pay close attention to slander.

 

For the next five days, I am going to be dealing with one of the most dangerous subjects in Christianity.  Both the Bible and I believe this subject to be very important.  For this reason, I will use several Scripture passages this week to remind all of us about "playing with fire."  As all of our parents shared with us at one time or another, if you play with fire, you will eventually get burned.  The dangerous subject in question is gossip.  So no one is confused, let's define gossip as it is defined via the Bible.  Anytime that you speak in a negative or slanderous fashion to a third party about someone that is not present, you are gossiping.  Keep in mind that if you are the person that listens to this negative or slanderous conversation, you are also guilty of gossip.  The tongue, used in this way, will ALWAYS hurt someone.  As a minister, I simply do not permit gossip on my watch.  Part of church discipline, as described in the New Testament, is a necessary, firm stand by the pastor with his flock on never permitting hurtful behavior.  When I share the gospel message with people, I most often receive the same response.  People begin to share with me the hurtful stories that have happened to them in churches.  I have a whole list of them that have happened to me!  All of us have been on the sending or receiving end of vicious gossip.  Solomon shared his infinite wisdom in this area with us in Proverbs.  Heed his warning about wrongdoers EAGERLY LISTENING to gossip and liars paying close attention to slander.  Notice that Solomon identifies the sin of listening to gossip.  People who talk about others behind their backs have their "battleship sunk" the minute no one listens.  Slanderous talk ceases when it produces no results and falls on deaf ears.  To all within the sound of my voice and writing, especially those directly involved in my Family of God, read, hear, and digest the first and last verse of our Scripture today.  When we cause conflict, the feasting makes us sick to our stomachs.  We are better to sit in the corner and eat a crust of bread, peacefully.  Gossip and slander are Satan's way of dividing all families.  Satan must devour us from the inside, one person at a time.  This week will bring in-depth discussions of the ramifications of gossip and slander, but for today's purposes, let me be clear that all gossip and slander can be forgiven.  The deliverer of the gossip and slander must TRULY believe they have done something wrong and repent directly to the "hurt" person.  The problem is that often we can't forget what has been said and the pain drives us to quieter pastures and separation from the sources of uncontrolled tongues.  So, listen to Solomon and realize that "Wrongdoers Gossip and Liars Slander!"