60 Seconds - Gossip

Morgan Blake, a writer for the "Atlanta Journal," wrote the following: "I am more deadly than the screaming shell from the howitzer. I win without killing. I tear down homes, break hearts, and wreck lives. I travel on the wings of the wind. No innocence is strong enough to intimidate me, no purity pure enough to daunt me. I have no regard for truth, no respect for justice, no mercy for the defenseless. My victims are as numerous as the sands of the sea, and often as innocent. I never forget and seldom forgive. My name is Gossip."

In Proverbs 6:16 – 19, we read of seven things God hates, and three relate to the tongue: a lying tongue, a false witness, and sowing discord. Augustine had a motto printed on the wall of his dining room: "He that speaks an evil word of an absent man or woman is not welcome at this table."

We read in Proverbs 26:21, "The words of a talebearer (gossip or slanderer) are as wounds, and they go down into the inmost parts of the body." Someone stated, "Of all the wounds inflicted upon others, the hardest to heal are those made by the tongue." Dr. A. B. Simpson declared, "I would rather play with forked lightning or take in my hands living wires, than to speak a reckless word against any servant of Christ, or idly repeat the slanderous darts which thousands of Christians are hurling on others to the hurt of their own souls and bodies."

Christ said in Matthew 12:34, "For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." By examining the tongue of the patient, physicians find out the diseases of the body, philosophers discover the diseases of the mind, and God knows the sins of the heart. The Jewish teachers taught: "Four persons are shut out from the presence of God – the scoffer, the hypocrite, the liar, and the retailer of slander."

A Greek philosopher asked his servant to provide the best dish possible. The servant prepared a dish of tongue, saying, "It is the best of all dishes, because with it we may bless and communicate happiness, dispel sorrow, remove despair, cheer the fainthearted, inspire the discouraged, and say a hundred other things to uplift mankind." Later, the philosopher asked his servant to provide the worst dish of which he could think. A dish of tongue appeared at the table. The servant said, "It is the worst, because with it we may curse and break human hearts, destroy reputations, promote discord and strife, set families, communities, and nations at war with each other. "

"The proof that you have God's Spirit in your life is not that you speak with an unknown tongue, but that you know how to control the tongue that you do know about," (J. Sidlow Baxter).

Psalm 19:14, "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer."

Dave Arnold, Pastor
Gulf Coast Worship Center
New Port Richey, Florida
www.davidarnoldonline.org
www.gulfcoastworship.com