Gossip and the Tongue.
THE WORD TONGUE IS MENTIONED 93 TIMES IN THE BIBLE, OFTEN REFERRING TO IT’S DESTRUCTIVE POWER.
Jeremiah 9:8. Their tongue is a deadly arrow
This is a topic that I have ministered on before, but in the light of recent developments in my own life and bearing in mind that some one in leadership is obligated to address certain issues verbally, I felt led to speak on this subject again, as it touches each one of our lives on a daily basis.
There are times when one has to speak (rebuke, correct, admonish, encourage, teach etc)
There is a place for anger, but
says “Be angry and sin not” and don’t allow prolonged anger. (“Don’t let the sun go down on your wrath”)
When words are many sin is not absent.
We have a responsibility to take the speck out of our brothers eye, but only when we have by God’s grace dealt with the beam in our own eye. (and we all have to deal with the beam of self-righteousness)
If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.
But if you do warn the wicked man to turn from his wicked ways and he does not do so, he will die for his sin, but you will save yourself.
Open criticism is better than unexpressed love.
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.
If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.
1 Peter 3:10.
Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech.
The power of the tongue.
When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal
Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go.
Likewise the tongue is a small part of the
body, but it makes great boasts. Consider
what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.
The tongue is also a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue.
It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue and they that love it will eat the fruit thereof.
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger..
How many wars and fights have started over words?
The tongue of the wise brings healing.
The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life.
The example of Jesus.
Jesus knew when to speak
and when to keep silent.
He was oppressed and afflicted
yet he did not open his mouth…
as a sheep before her shearers is
dumb so he did not open his mouth.
Jesus before The High Priest.
Then the High Priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you? But Jesus remained silent.
Jesus before Herod.
When Herod saw
Jesus, he was greatly
pleased, because for a
long time he had been
wanting to see him.
From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform a sign of some sort. He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer.
Jesus before Chief Priests, Elders and Pilate.
And while he was being
accused by the Chief
Priests and Elders, he
didn't answer. Then Pilate
said to Him, “Don’t you
hear how much they are testifying against you?” But He didn’t answer him even on one charge, so the Governor was greatly amazed.
1 Peter 2:22.
He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth. When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.
JESUS REMAINED SILENT WHEN
HE WAS ACCUSED YET WHEN THE
WOMAN TAKEN IN THE ACT OF
ADULTERY WAS BROUGHT BEFORE
HIM AND ACCUSED, HE SAID
Let he who is without sin cast the
I do nothing on my own, but speak
just what the Father has taught me.
Our response to Insults etc.
1 Peter 3:9.
Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult but with blessing.
1 Peter 2:23.
When they hurled insults at him he did not retaliate, when he suffered he made no threats.
1 Corinthians 4:13.
When we are slandered we answer kindly.
Teach slaves not to speak back to their masters.
Jesus gave this instruction to his disciples.
I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.
Think before you speak.
Be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to become angry. For man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. (we must be slow to become angry and quick to get rid of it)
Slow to speak.
Mark Lowry saidthat sometimes even he doesn’t agree with what he is saying (because he is too quick to speak and give an opinion)
He said that he does not know much about politics, but it’s never stopped him from having an opinion.
Before you speak ask yourself these questions.
Is it kind?
Is it true?
Is it necessary?
Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is counted wise.
When he shuts his lips, he is thought to be discerning.
Be reluctant to speak.
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, because you know that we will be judged more strictly.
Been a Teacher is not only a gifting given, but something you must be properly equipped for.
2 Timothy 2:15.
Study to show your self approved to God, a workman the does not need to be ashamed,
rightly dividing the word of truth.
Those teaching children should especially be careful of what they say and do.
But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and be drowned in the depths of the sea.
Be slow to speak is not only a case of
thinking before you speak, but being
reluctant to speak.
Words unexpressed may sometimes
fall back dead, but even God can’t
kill them when they are said.
Speak as those who will be judged.
Speak and act as those who are
going to be judged by the law that gives
freedom, because judgement without mercy
will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful…….
Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes or food, If one of you says to them. Go in peace keep warm and well fed, but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?
Avoid the hypocrisy of speaking a word of blessing without doing anything to be a blessing.
Be slow/ reluctant to speak.
When the Pharisees attributed what Jesus did to the power of Beelzebub the prince of demons he issued a stern warning about speaking against the Holy Spirit.
For a tree is recognised by it’s fruit. You brood of vipers how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give an account on the day of judgement for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted and by your words you will be condemned.
What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him unclean, but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him unclean.
Grumbling & complaining.
Do everything without complaining or murmuring, so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation…..
Don’t grumble against each other brothers or you will be judged, the judge is standing at the door.
1 Corinthians 10:9-11
…..and do not grumble as some of them did and were killed by the destroying angel.
Boasting & oaths
Now listen you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say. “If it is the Lords will we will live and do this or that.”
(SOME MAKE THE MISTAKE OF THINKING THAT THIS KIND OF BOASTING IS POSITIVE CONFESSION AND IS BIBLICAL)
Do not swear an oath at all... simply let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and ‘no’ ‘no’. Anything beyond this comes from the evil one.
..Go near to listen. Do not be quick with your mouth. Do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God... so let your words be few.
Be still and know that I am God
Slandering celestial beings
In the same way these dreamers pollute
their own bodies, reject authority and
slander celestial beings. But even the
archangel Michael, when he was
disputing with the devil about the body
of Moses, did not dare bring a slanderous
accusation against him, but said,
“The Lord rebuke you.” Yet these men
speak abusively against whatever they do not understand.
2 Peter 2:10-12.
..Bold and arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings; yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not bring slanderous accusations against such beings in the presence of the Lord.
Positive confession, power of agreement etc
Some strange and false teachings have emerged in the modern day church as people want to use God’s Word as a means to escape difficulty and testing and try
create their own reality of
comfort and luxury and ease.
Nobody can speak and have it
happen unless the Lord commands it.
If we are thrown into the blazing
furnace, the God we serve is able to
save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king, but even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.
(If these 3 men had been taught in some of our modern day churches they would have been binding the Devil and pleading the blood or trying some other spiritual lucky charm.)
Positive confession, power of agreement etc
But if they will not listen, take one or two others along so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.
If he refuses to listen to them tell it to the church and if he refuses to listen even to the church treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector. (has to do with Church discipline)
I tell you the truth whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. (Revised version-shall have.. Declaring allowed and forbidden)
Again I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for it will be done for you by my father in heaven.
For where two or three come together in my name there I am with them. ( Discipline carried out with the Lord’s authority)
This has nothing to do with someone agreeing with you for a new car etc The only one who needs to agree with you on that when you pray is the Lord.
Keeping a confidence.
This is an area where I believe people keep quiet about things that cause harm to individuals and Churches, or else expose things prematurely without following Biblical procedure, and give far too much detail.
If your brother sins against you go show him his fault just between the two of you…if he will not listen take one or two others along….if he refuses to listen to them tell it to the church.
Have nothing to do with the fruitless works of darkness, but rather expose them.
It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.
1 Corinthians 4:5.
He will bring into the light of day all that at present is hidden in darkness, and he will expose the secret motives of men’s hearts.
Everything that is secret will be brought out into the open . Everything that is hidden will be uncovered. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight. What you have whispered to someone behind closed doors will be shouted from the rooftops.
If a person sins because he does not speak up when he hears a public charge to testify regarding something he has seen or learned about, he will be held responsible
Food for thought.
Avoid a man who talks too much.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Bless those who persecute you,
bless and do not curse.
Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk
or coarse joking, which are out of place,
but rather thanksgiving.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Your sight O LORD my strength and my redeemer.
We have seen that Jesus said that the mouth is the overflow of the heart, so we need to make sure our heart are filled with the Word of God.
Thy Word have I
hid in my heart that
I might not sin
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