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Oct5MonLetter 33 October 5, 2020 by Majors Brenda & David Allen
I overheard a conversation, on Saturday, as I was unloading a few groceries from our vehicle. Two individuals walked by my house, conversing rather loudly. As I heard the conversation, I thought to myself, Covid19 may be spreading but other things are spreading too. This was the line I heard:
“Did you hear about __________? I’ve got the scoop. Listen to this.”
When I was in my teen-years, at camp, I remember someone speaking about, “The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts” (Proverbs 18:8). The response, at the end of my driveway, to ‘Let me tell you the scoop’ was, “Really? What?” We tend to savour, like we would a favorite candy or chocolate as it melts in our mouth, the details of a good story, even if it might be slightly exaggerated or even untrue.
Gossip. It was clearly gossip that walked past my driveway. Gossip is defined as “casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true.” Gossip is a close friend with slander. Slander “is a false spoken statement damaging a person’s reputation.” The LORD has a lot to say about both. I remind us of only a few things.
A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends. (Proverbs 16:28).
Whoever slanders their neighbor in secret, I will put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, I will not tolerate. (Psalm 101:5).
“When you run out of wood, the fire goes out; when the gossip ends, the quarrel dies down” (Proverbs 26:20).
When gossip and slander exist, lies can accompany. The Bible says that “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes; feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community” (Proverbs 6:16-19).
“Being pure and holy, God is ever true in His speech, and when we lie, we show utter disdain for His truthful character. Moreover, lying also brings great harm to others. A false witness can destroy the reputation and livelihood of another person made in God’s image, and our Lord takes very seriously threats to His image-bearers” (Ligonier Ministries). Jesus was truth and all truth (John 14:6). Deception, falsehood, twisting of the truth, and exaggerating of the details are ways in conflict with the Spirit of Christ. We, as followers of Jesus Christ, are invited to walk as he walked. His Spirit helps us.
Years ago, at one of our churches we had ‘Whatever Wednesdays.’ It was an evening of fun and discipleship for children and youth. It was during the era when the word ‘whatever’ was commonly used in a slang way. Refining the word we invited the children to think about, and live, Philippians 4:8: “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).
All of us, because of our fallen nature, can have the tendency to lean into gossip and slander. Our Lord has a better way for us. May we hold at the forefront of our minds and on the tips of our tongues those things that honour our God. This is for the glory of our gracious God, and the care of those who are dearly loved by our God, each one made equal in his sight. Today, our prayer comes from a sung benediction. A beautiful choral arrangement of this song can be found by typing the follow in a google search: God Be in My Head - John Rutter, The Cambridge Singers.
1026: God Be In My Head
God be in my head,
And in my understanding;
God be in my eyes,
And in my looking;
God be in my mouth,
And in my speaking;
God be in my heart,
And in my thinking;
God be at my end,
And at my departing.
With care and in prayer,