Monday, November 25, 2019

A word about gossip

There seems to be an epidemic of God's people participating in vicious gossip. In Hebrew it's called lashon hara, which means "evil tongue."

What constitutes lashon hara? Lashon hara consists of the spreading of derogatory messages of any kind about another person; deliberately spreading falsehoods (or even things that may be true) in order to hurt someone's reputation without employing any attempts to first correct or improve a negative situation.

Exposing PUBLIC posts and the names of those who are speaking evil of some kind, or who are making disparaging comments about YHWH/Yeshua/Torah, or anything else visible in a “public venue” is NOT lashon hara. It only becomes lashon hara when we begin to attack that person’s character and make baseless accusations about them that we cannot back up with facts.

What is disturbing is that so many Believers are choosing to engage in this sinful activity! Facebook, for instance, hosts thousands who love to post Bible verses and come across as "holy/set apart" ambassadors for YHWH; while at the same time, they engage in the spreading of vicious gossip about another person, leader or organization.

It isn't "bad" to have an opinion about an organization, the government or a particular person or leader; what's "bad" is when something that person or leader may (or may not) have done is being used against him/her and ultimately "twisted into a lie" in hopes of making others believe the lie and come to hate that person BECAUSE YOU HAVE CAUSED them to believe the lie … the slander or libel (written slander).

Matthew 12:34 "Generation of vipers! How are you able to speak good things, you who are evil? For the mouth speaks from the fullness of the heart. 35. A good man brings forth good from his good treasures, and the evil man brings evil from his evil treasure. 36. I say to you for every vain word that the sons of men speak, they will give an account of it in the day of judgment. 37. For by your words you will be made righteous, and by your words you will be condemned." (AENT, See also Deut. 32:21)

There is no scripture commanding us to slander others with vicious gossip. We are to confront friends or acquaintances with whom we have a grievance and, if ultimately, they refuse to heed or reconcile, ignore them and put them out of our life, for they do NOT belong to Yahweh; they are working for the enemy..

(This does not necessarily apply to some stranger on Facebook who begins to harass you. If you ask them to stop and they don't, there's always the "block" button. You owe them nothing!)..

Matthew 18: 16. And if he does not listen to you, take with you one or two others, because of the mouth of two or three witnesses, every word is established. 17. And if he will also not listen to them, tell the congregation. And if he will also not listen to the congregation, let him be to you like a tax collector and like a heathen.

TO REITERATE: Whenever we see a brother/sister who is “off YHWH’s Path,” we are to "rebuke them sharply that they may be sound in the faith" (Leviticus 19:17, Titus 1:13, 1 Timothy 5:20); we are to "warn a divisive person once, then a second time, and after that, have nothing more to do with him" (Titus 3:10); we are to "beware of" and "stand distant from" those who refuse to follow YHWH's commands (Romans 16:17-18) and we are to do the following:

2 Timothy 2:15 Do all you can to present yourself to Elohim as someone worthy of his approval, as a worker with no need to be ashamed, because he deals straightforwardly with the Word of the Truth. 16 But keep away from godless babbling, for those who engage in it will only become more ungodly, 17 and their teaching will eat away at people like gangrene. (CJB)

We are to turn godless people over to God; not become their judge and jury. Certainly, we can approach them with HIS Truth; but if they refuse, let them go and leave them alone. HE will deal with them in HIS timing! (See Matthew 12:36, 2 Peter 3:10-13, Romans 2:16, etc.) PRAY for them in hopes they will someday see YHWH's Truth; don't malign them; that's not your job!

People who deliberately commit gossip and run others down are NOT on God's Path; they are hypocrites, espousing God out of one side of their mouths while spewing evil out of the other. They get some kind of perverted joy out of putting others down:

Matthew 15:8 "This people honor me with their lips, but their heart is very far from me." 9. And they revere me in vain, while they teach the doctrines of the commandments of the sons of men. (AENT)

Romans 1:28 In other words, since they have not considered God worth knowing, God has given them up to worthless ways of thinking; so that they do improper things. 29 They are filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and vice; stuffed with jealousy, murder, quarreling, dishonesty and ill-will; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God; they are insolent, arrogant and boastful; they plan evil schemes; they disobey their parents; 31 they are brainless, faithless, heartless and ruthless.

32 They know well enough God's righteous decree that people who do such things deserve to die; yet not only do they keep doing them, but they applaud others who do the same. (CJB)

Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (AENT)

Ephesians 5:4 Neither obscenities nor words of foolishness, or of division, or of falsehood, which are not useful; but instead of these, thanksgiving. (AENT)

James 1:26 And if anyone thinks that he worships Elohim and does not subdue his tongue, but his heart deceives him; his worship is desolate. (AENT)

Titus 1:16 And they profess that they know Elohim, but in their works they deny him; and they are odious and disobedient and to every good work reprobates. (AENT)

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