THE GOSSIPER THE SLANDERER THE BUSYBODY THE WHISPERER “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles” (Proverbs 21:23)
“busy about trifles and neglect-ful of important matters, esp. busy about other folks' affairs, a busybody” (Strong’s #4021) “free from labour, at leisure; lazy, shunning the labour which one ought to perform” (Strong’s #692) GOSSIP’S RELATIVES: “And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not. Therefore I desire the younger widows marry, bear children, manage the house, give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully. For some have already turned aside after Satan”(1 Timothy 5:13-15)
saying things which they ought not. How the Sin Manifests Itself “And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not. Therefore I desire the younger widows marry, bear children, manage the house, give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully. For some have already turned aside after Satan”(1 Timothy 5:13-15) There are some things that are just not right to say!
GOSSIPING “IDLE CHATTER”
Gossip Gossip & whispering… • Not constructive in purpose, but destructive • Not for correction, but for idle discussion • No power to help, but only to hurt
The Source of the Sin: “And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not. Therefore I desire the younger widows marry, bear children, manage the house, give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully. For some have already turned aside after Satan”(1 Timothy 5:13-15) For some have already turned aside after Satan
The Tactics of the Sin • the disclaimer tactic:“I don’t mean to gossip, but. . .” • know they are saying things they ought not • “disclaimers” do not permit the practice • what about: “I don’t mean to kill, but. . .”?
The Tactics of the Sin • the secret tactic: • “don’t tell anyone, but did you know that so and so is. . .” • “All that hate me whisper together against me; against me do they devise my hurt. ‘An evil disease,’ they say, ‘clings to him. And now that he lies down, he will rise up no more’” (Psalm 41:7, 8)
The Tactics of the Sin: • the flattery finish: • “So and so is a really energetic preacher, but good speakers know their audience better. . .but his sermons are so basic. . .an older preacher would be wiser. . .” • “So and so is a really wise preacher, to bad he is not younger so he could reach the youth. . .if he would sleep more he would be more effective. . .” • “They speak idly everyone with his neighbor; with flattering lips and a double heart they speak. May the Lord cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaks proud things” (Ps. 12:2, 3)
The Tactics of the Sin • the blaspheme & bless approach: • say anything about anyone and end with “bless her/his heart” • “so and so is so windy that someone should package him up and sell him as a passenger side airbag. . .bless his heart; he gives ‘moving sermons.’ Long before he is finished everyone wants to ‘move on out of the building’. . .bless his heart” “Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not be so” James 3:10
The Tactics of the Sin • the direct slanderous approach: • “So and so is more interested in sports than spirituality” • he will tell everyone, but the one he is talking about • feels good to condemn others while elevating one’s own ego and ability to judge
The Effects of the Sin • wounds others , “All that hate me whisper together against me; against me do they devise my hurt (Ps. 41:7) • separates friends, “He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates friends” (Prov. 17:9) • Some transgressions need not be known to others; especially if repented of • Some will repeat a matter for the purpose of driving a wedge between friends, “. . .a whisperer separates the best of friends” (Prov. 16:28)
digs up evil to trap people, his motive is to sow strife The Effects of the Sin • sows strife, “An ungodly man digs up evil, and it is on his lips like a burning fire. A perverse man sows strife, and a whisperer separates the best of friends” (Prov. 16:27, 28) His actions are sinful because his motive is Was among the sins that plagued Corinth (2 Cor. 12:20)
“lips like a burning fire” (Prov. 16:27) • Walton Weaver: “The shame is that his lips burn with a message of gossip. He does not have to know that his message is true. He will say it anyway. If one ever gets at odds with “a worthless man” or an unprincipled person, he can expect hurt and much mischief ahead” “What the Gossiper Does” Truth Mag., August 15, 2002. p. 11 (491)
The Effects of the Sin • seeks eager listeners, gets a circle of gossipers • attracts other evildoers, “An evildoer gives heed to false lips; a liar listens eagerly to a spiteful tongue” (Prov. 17:4; cf. 18:8) • many “. . .spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing” (Acts 17:21)
The Effects of the Sin: • finds no good, “He who has a deceitful heart finds no good, and he who has a perverse tongue falls into evil”(Prov. 17:20) • Cannot find anything pleasant • falls into evil, since he cannot find anything good, he will end up in what he seeks after—evil!
The Effects of the Sin: • destroys own soul, “A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul” (Prov. 18:6) “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matt. 12:36, 37)
The Solution to the Sin “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips” (Psalm 141:3)
The Solution to the Sin • do not associate with a gossip –Proverbs 20:19 • quick to hear, slow to speak –James 1:19 • put away lying –Ephesians 4:25 • replace corrupt words with truth and edifying speech –Ephesians 4:25, 29 • speech seasoned with grace–Colossians 4:6
Is There A Conflict Between... Avoiding Gossip Using Wise Counsel &
The difference between gossip and a concerned friend is like the difference between a butcher and a surgeon: both cut meat but for different reasons!
Using Wise Counsel Commended (Proverbs 11:14; 13:10; 24:6) Using wise counsel… • constructive in purpose, not destructive • for avoiding wrong, not for idle discussion • power to help & avoid further harm “For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you” (1 Cor. 1:11)
Paul speaks in an approved fashion of Ms. Chloe’s household • Chloe’s household reported the error that was going on that Paul might address • No hint of malice on her part • No fear of having her name affixed to the declaration “For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you” (1 Cor. 1:11; cf. 11:18)
Wise Action Involves Noting Presence of Sin • Deut. 13:12-18 Dealing with sin • keep an open ear; inquire, search out, ask diligently; strike it • Gal. 2:11-14 Open rebuke of Peter • 1 Tim. 5:17-21 Open rebuke of sinful man • Eph. 5:7-11 Duty of all Christians Bible does not condemn the exposure of sin as “gossip,” “slander,” “busybody,” or as causing “strife,” etc.
Counsel of God Led Nathan to Expose the Sin of David • No one can improve on the divine counsel of how to deal with sin (2 Sam. 12) • David’s sin exposed not only in front of Nathan, but all of Israel • All who can read 2 Samuel • Probably would have been written in The Book of Nathan the Prophet(1 Chron. 29:29)
Nathan’s Rebuke of David’s Sin • Humiliation/shame was severe & public (2 Sam. 12:11, 12) • Caused David to humble self & truly repent • We have certain psalms as a result showing how one in sin gives heart to God (Psa. 32 & 51) • Didn’t despise Nathan for pointing out sin • Didn’t despise Samuel or God for writing it in the Bible • Simply humbled himself and reached for reconciliation with God; aspired a better life (Ps. 51:1-15)
“avert by entreaty or seek to avert, to deprecate. . .refuse, decline, shun, avoid” (Strong’s #3868) “. . .schismatic, factious, a follower of a false doctrine. . .” (Strong’s #141) Wise Action Involves Rejecting Those Who Remain In It • Titus 3:10, 11: “Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned”
Rejecting Divisive Men • Titus 3:10, 11: “Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned” Give Time For Repentance & Correction
Must Make Judgments On Discipline Jude 22, 23: “And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh” (Jude 22, 23)
Judge whether it is a personal and private sin “against you” (Matt. 18:15) Judge whether it is a sin against other brethren (Gal. 2:11, 12) Does it require one or more of the following: a gentle word of exhortation? a warning (public or private: Phil. 4:2; 1 Thess. 5:14) a stern rebuke (Acts 8:20-22) a public refutation (1 Tim. 5:20; Gal. 2:14) a marking (Rom. 16:17) congregational chastisement (1 Cor. 5:4)