Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Trash Wrapped in Ribbons & Bows

Throughout this year, each day of the month, I'm "Treasure Hunting" in a Psalm. I've created a "Ponder Every Morsel of Truth" Book to record the truths as I learn them. The nineteenth of each month, I'm studying Psalm 15. Here's what Treasure I found today.

And do not ·tell lies about others [slander with their tongue]. They do no ·wrong [evil] to their neighbors and do not ·gossip [L raise a reproachful matter with their associates]. Psalm 15:3 (EXB)

He who does not slander with his tongue, nor does evil to his friend, nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor. Psalm 15:3 (AMB)

"Backbiteth not." This crime is a conjugation of evils, and is productive of infinite mischiefs; it undermines peace, and saps the foundation of friendship; it destroys families, and rends in pieces the very heart and vitals of charity; it makes an evil man party, and witness, and judge, and executioner of the innocent. - Bishop Taylor  
"Backbiteth." The word here used comes from a root signifying loot, and denotes a person who goes about from house to house, speaking things he should not (1 Timothy 5:13); and a word from this root signifies spies; and the phrase here may point at persons who creep into houses, pry into the secrets of families, divulge them, and oftentimes represent them in a false light. Such are ranked among the worst of men, and are very unfit to be in the society of saints, or in a church of Christ. See Romans 1:30. - John Gill

Twitter, Facebook, blogs, the internet, cell-phones, are all means of staying in contact with our friends, neighbors and even people who have like interests. But these things also make it much easier for slander, lies, and rumors to be spread. And just as when we speak, once our words are “sent”, they can not be deleted or “taken back”.  

But what I said was “true”. But beyond being “true” was it beneficial? Were the words encouraging, uplifting, positive? Or were they said to build us up, make us look better, and disgrace someone else. But I was only sharing a prayer request—really? Don’t you think God, knows the specifics without us trying to share the sins of others?
Gossip is the spreading of unfavorable information about someone else, even if that information is true. Slander is making a false statement or misrepresentation about another person that defames or damages the person’s reputation. Jesus said, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34). This means that although we speak of the sins of the tongue, our real problem is our heart. 
Respectable Sins, by Jerry Bridges

Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it. Ephesians 4:29 (AMP)

Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift. Ephesians 4:29 (MSG)

Each word is a gift. We can try to wrap up gossip, slander, or harsh words with pretty ribbons and  bows of excuses and justifications, but the gift inside is still trash.  Just because something may be acceptable to us, the real question, is it acceptable to God? Since each word is a gift, to ourselves and others, we should take much care in our choice of words and their meaning. 

To create a positive day, I must allow God to censor my words to make sure that the gifts I’m sharing are acceptable to Him, and are not trash wrapped  in ribbons and bows.

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