Friday, May 13, 2011
Saturday Scripture Speaks
Do not spread slanderous gossip among your people. Leviticus 19:16 (NLT)
He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy and faithful in spirit keeps the matter hidden. Proverbs 11:13 (Amplified)
He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets; therefore associate not with him who talks too freely. Proverbs 20:19 (Amplified)
you sat around gossiping, ruining the reputation of your own relatives. Psalm 50:20 (Contemporary English Version)
In you are men who slander to cause bloodshed; in you are those who eat on the mountains; in your midst they commit lewdness. Ezekiel 22:9 (NKJV)
Gossip is considered idle chatter, usually about someone or something that might or might not be true. The gossip doesn't really care and neither does she take the time to make certain that what she says is true. All she cares about is spreading "stuff" around.
Slander, on the other hand, is gossip with the intent to harm. Ezekiel 22:9 says men slander to cause bloodshed. That was a pretty serious matter in Biblical times, and I believe it is a very serious matter today.
I think that, as women, we have a natural tendency to want to talk. It's been said that women have 20,000 words per day to use while men have only 7,000. (Answers.com) If that's true, it's no wonder we tend to blab whatever is on our minds. This is especially pertinent to women who are homemakers. We're home a lot....and, on a normal day, spend most of the time with little people who haven't learned to communicate all that much yet.
The problem with all of that blubbery is that it causes hurts - sometimes hurts so deep that they draw "blood." Ironically, those who stab others with gossip and slander are predominately relatives or close friends. I'll bet every person reading this can think of at least one time they've been wounded by another person's words. Ouch! I know it brings up some raw wounds.
Mine are raw too. I have struggled time and again with this blog and what to write in it. Time and again, people have taken a small portion of my words and twisted them until they were no longer recognizable. That's intent to harm. And harm it does.
People, it's time to stop making each other bleed. The Lord is so concerned about this issue that He speaks about it over and over and over. The above Scriptures are only a crumb. God goes so far as to suggest that we don't associate with gossipers. That is how much He wants us to guard our hearts from sin. When we are around others who are spreading gossip and slander, we suddenly find that we're jumping right in there and actually participating. Sin has that effect. It seems wonderful until later, after the damage has been done.
When you're tempted to get involved in gossip, run from it as fast as you can. Here's a verse to memorize and pull out when you need something other than the latest tidbit to think about:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8 (NIV)