By Nick Law
God reveals to man the dangers that our tongues can bring upon us. Through the writings of James, He warns us that our tongues can bring us into a state of condemnation and a sentence of punishment. Even though the tongue is a small member of our body is a powerful tool and must be used correctly to avoid condemnation and punishment of and eternal destiny of hell fire!
First let us go to a standard dictionary to get a definition of gossip. It means 1) a person that habitually reveals personal or sensational facts. 2) Rumor or report of an intimate nature 3) Idle, often malicious talk , especially about others.
If we go to check out counters at Wal-mart or the grocery store many time we see the "Tabloid" covers that appeal to the interest of those that want to hear reports of an intimate nature of the lives of others. This is the work of Satan and his children, satisfying the appetites of those that like to hear and reveal personal or sensational facts about others. Many times we can see how even those in Hollywood detest the people that write about them to make money. Often you will hear of lawsuits being brought against the "Tabloids" for slander. Slander is condemned by the Bible; whether they be false charges, or they be the truth circulated with an hostile purpose to destroy another. The children of Satan are those who are given to fault-finding with the demeanour and conduct of others, and spreading their innuendos and criticisms.
In the King James Version of the Bible the word TALEBEARER is used and the New International Version uses the word GOSSIP. (NIV) Proverbs 11:13 "A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret." (KJV) Ver. 13. "A talebearer revealeth secrets, ..." The Arabic version adds, in the congregation, openly and publicly; that goes about with tales from place to place, who is like a walking merchant or peddler, as the word signifies; who takes up his wares at one place, and exposes them to sale, and vends them at another; so a talebearer, he goes from house to house, and picks up tales at one place and carries them to another and tells them; and as by his going about he gets into the secrets of persons and families, or is intrusted with them, his character not being known, he reveals them to others, and so breaks the trust committed to him. The Targum and Syriac version render it "an accuser"; and the same name is given to the devil in the New Testament, and indeed such a man is no better; but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter; that is "faithful" to his friend, that trusts him with his secrets, of which there are but few; he "conceals the matter" he is entrusted with: "the things", as the Septuagint (Greek Old Testament); the secrets which are imparted to him; or "the word" that he has heard, and has been spoken to him in privacy, and in strict friendship: or he "covers the matter" or thing; he hides the infirmities of his friend and neighbour, and does not expose them as the talebearer does; see 1 Peter 4:8 "And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins."
Other scriptures from the (NIV): Proverbs 16:28 "A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends." Proverbs 18:8 "The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man's inmost parts." Proverbs 20:19 "A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much." Proverbs 26:20 "Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down." Proverbs 26:22 "The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man's inmost parts." 2 Cor. 12:20 "For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder."
Paul speaking of widows and instructs the younger ones to remarry to carry out a role that is positive in their lives and to avoid the pitfalls of sin. He teaches Timothy (KJV) 1 Timothy 5:13 "And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not." The word TATTLERS in this text is from a word (phluaros) which means 1) of persons utering or doing silly things, garrulous, babbling; 2) of things, foolish, trifling, vain. Many would attribute this problem to those that are women, yet John charges Diotrephes, 3 John verse 10 , "Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church." When we look up the word PRATING (phuluareo) it means to utter nonsense, talk idly, to bring forward idle accusations, make empty charges, to accuse one falsely with malicious words.
Preachers, elders, deacons and all Christians should avoid, as well as detest, this sinful action of gossip or talebearing. Lev. 19:16 "Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I am the LORD." If we discuss a person's sins with others, is it for the purpose of going to the person with the sin to get them corrected and to help restore there soul to a right relationship with God? Or, is it for the purpose of destroying them in the eyes of another?
Remember, we will give an account of everything that we do or say, whether it be good or bad! God is keeping a record and knows our heart!!
[Editor's Note: Thanks to Nick Law for the article! He can be reached at nlaw@Traveller.com 16335 Miller Street, Athens, AL. 35611]
Email the Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org
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