Gossips, slanderers, talebearers are negative unblessed people. God turns his back on them. Noah had a drinking problem. The only reason we know about it because of gossip, spreading rumors, innuendos, talebearing, and slander.
SMILE STAYING POSITIVE WHEN…
By Pastor Delbert Young
When I Avoid Gossip and Slander
When I Avoid Gossip and Slander
Scriptures: 1Pe 3:10-12, Proverbs 10:12, 1 Peter 4:8, Proverbs 17:4, Proverbs 21:28, Genesis 9:21-23, Genesis 9:24-27, Matthew 5:7
Gossips, slanderers, talebearers are negative unblessed people. God turns his back on them. We all have opportunities to make people look bad. We hear rumors we’re not certain are true, but it’s tempting to repeat them no matter. We don’t feel we’re a bad person. We are only telling what we heard. Or perhaps we know something bad but true about a person. They made a mistake. They had a failure. It’s easy to justify telling this. It’s the truth. However, there are many true things we don’t need to tell. There are true bad things about ourselves we don’t tell and don’t want to be told, but it seems fine to tell negative things about someone else. Plus it’s so tempting to listen to gossip, slander, and talebearers. We don’t realize it, but we are causing ourselves and our children problems every time we say or listen to negative things said about people.
(TMB) 1Pe 3:10-12 Whoever wants to embrace life and see the day fill up with good, Here’s what you do: SAY NOTHING EVIL OR HURTFUL; SNUB EVIL AND CULTIVATE GOOD; run after peace for all you’re worth. GOD LOOKS ON ALL THIS WITH APPROVAL, LISTENING AND RESPONDING WELL TO WHAT HE’S ASKED; But he turns his back on those who do evil things.
I don’t know about you, but I do not want God to turn his back on me. You must Smile Staying Positive by Avoiding Gossip, Slander, Tale Bearing. Loving, enjoying, and embracing life is dependent on what we say and listen to about people. People wonder why they don’t have a blessed life. They wonder why they don’t experience days filled up with good, why God doesn’t respond to their prayers, and why they don’t have God’s favor. A reason is they are always talking about people. If you want days filled up with good, say nothing evil or hurtful, SNUB EVIL, cultivate good, run after peace. The results are days filled with good, God responding well to our prayers, and God’s favor – face – toward us. So many of us could go to the next level of life if we disciplined ourselves in this one area.
We live in a society filled with rumors, gossip, and innuendos. Our society loves to kick people when they’re down. People negatively talk about people on the internet, at work, on the phone, at school. They’re nosy busybodies who love to stir up things. They have no problem repeating things they know are not true, or half-true. Purposefully they will leave out details. If you’re not careful, they will pull you in. You will be poisoned, becoming a carrier of their poison. “Did you hear what I heard? I have something to tell you! I heard some juicy information.”
Our friends ambush us with this stuff. Think about this. We mostly talk to our friends. So most gossip, slander, tale bearing, etc. we hear is from our friends. Most of the gossip our friends hear comes from us. We begin a conversation and drift into talking about someone. We know we shouldn’t listen to it and much less join in, but they’re our friends. I can’t offend my friend. It’s safe with my friend. No. I want my days filled with good, my prayers answered, and God’s favor.
“But Delbert, I’m only going to tell one friend. It won’t hurt anything.” Yes, it will. This person will tell another person and like lighter fluid, it will spread. No matter how they retell it, it won’t be the same. Lies/exaggerations are added. Truth will be twisted. It will become a damaging half-truth lie, and it’s all because of you.
But what if it happens? Someone broadsides you. You know it is true. Maybe someone lied, cheated, or did something wrong. They’re guilty. What do you do? I will tell you a true story shortly, but I heard it said this way. Every person carries a can of lighter fluid and a bucket of water. We each can either squirt our lighter fluid adding fuel to the gossip making it worse or do what God said – douse it, snub it with our water and put it out. Most people squirt their lighter fluid. They say, “It’s the truth. I’m just stating the facts.” Yes, the person may be guilty, but is it your responsibility to fuel it or to snub it?
Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up dissension, but LOVE COVERS OVER ALL WRONGS.
1 Peter 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply, because LOVE COVERS over a multitude of sins.
How many wrongs does love cover? We don’t feel like we hate someone, but if we stir up dissension we do. We’re definitely not loving them. Don’t go to the phone and call five friends. Don’t get online and expose them. Let it die within you. Don’t give it life. Love doesn’t post on Facebook. Love says they made a mistake. Let’s pray for them. They did wrong. They had a failure, but I’m not going to contribute to their pain, embarrassment, and humiliation by spreading it. I’m going to snub it.
It is just as wrong to listen to gossip as it is to tell it. It takes two to gossip – the mouth of one and at least one ear of another.
Proverbs 17:4 A wicked man LISTENS TO evil lips; a liar PAYS ATTENTION to a malicious tongue.
Proverbs 21:28 A false witness will perish, and whoever LISTENS TO HIM will be destroyed forever.
It doesn’t say much about the person who listens to malicious gossip does it? I’m telling us God turns his back on those who gossip, spread rumors, and speak innuendoes, talebearers, and slanders. I want my days filled with good, God responding well to my prayers, and God’s favor smiling on me. When it happens, excuse yourself from the conversation. Suddenly remember you need to make a phone call or have a sudden urge to visit the men’s/ladies’ room. Whatever you do, do not allow your ears to become trash cans and slanderous poison get inside you. You don’t realize it, but you’re in a battle. It’s a battle not to repeat it. It’s a battle not to listen to it. The battle is for you and your children, grandchildren, and descendants.
We are given an insightful story about Noah. Altogether Noah was cooped up in the ark with only his family and stinking animals around six and a half months (197 days). Can you imagine? No wonder Noah had a drinking problem.
Genesis 9:21-23 One day he became drunk on some wine he had made and lay naked in his tent. HAM, THE FATHER OF CANAAN, saw that his father was naked and went outside and TOLD HIS BROTHERS. Shem and Japheth took a robe, held it over their shoulders, walked backward into the tent, and COVERED their father’s naked body. As they did this, they looked the other way so they wouldn’t see him naked.
It was wrong but Noah, the father of the new world, was drunk, passed out, and totally naked. Let’s give him some mercy. He was in his tent (1Co 11:21-22).He wasn’t out staggering around causing problems. Ham, Noah’s youngest son (Gen 9:24), saw Noah in his fault and failure. What’s he doing in Noah’s tent? Seems he was a nosy busybody. Ham went out and began telling everyone. “Ha! Ha! Dad is in there drunk, passed out, and naked. You won’t believe it!” Ham used his lighter fluid and spread the humiliation. Was it true? Yes. Did it need to be told? No.
When Shem and Japheth heard it, they did the opposite. They used their buckets of water to snub it. They turned around walking backward covering Noah refusing to look at his shame. They were saying by their actions Noah was wrong. He’d made poor choices. He drank too much, but they were not going to expose him and make it worse. They covered him. Love covers all wrongs. They said, “We don’t want anyone to see him this way and have this damaging image stuck in their minds about Noah.”
Genesis 9:24-27 When Noah woke up from his drunken stupor, he learned what Ham, his youngest son, had done. THEN HE CURSED THE DESCENDANTS OF CANAAN, THE SON OF HAM: “A curse on the Canaanites! May they be the lowest of servants to the descendants of Shem and Japheth.” Then Noah said, “MAY SHEM BE BLESSED BY THE LORD MY GOD; and may Canaan be his servant. MAY GOD ENLARGE THE TERRITORY OF JAPHETH, and may he share the prosperity of Shem; and let Canaan be his servant.”
People learn what others say both negatively and positively about them. Noah prophesied the word of the Lord and cursed Canaan, Ham’s son. Why? When we gossip, slander, tale bare, etc. it has a horrible effect on our children, grandchildren, and descendants. They hear it and become like Ham. Not only Ham, but Ham’s children and descendants would pay the price for Ham’s gossip and slander.
Have you ever thought about this? We see this today. If a parent spreads gossip, rumors, innuendos, tale-bear, slander, etc. their children do also. It’s “trashcan” infectious. They struggle through life unless they break the curse. I would hate to know my opening my mouth exposing someone brought a curse on my children, grandchildren, and descendants.
Shem and Japheth covered Noah and were blessed. They had God’s favor. We see this today as well. When parents cover and honor people refusing to gossip and slander them, their children are blessed.
Ham could have done exactly what Shem and Japheth did. He could have snubbed it by covering Noah and no one would have ever known. It could have died within him. Instead, he brought a curse on his descendants and for thousands of years we’ve talked about Noah’s drunkenness. By snubbing and covering it, Shem and Japheth brought a blessing on their children and descendants to rise to the top.
Several years back I had a guest speaker. I considered him a friend and a mentor of a sort. After the last service, I noticed him off talking to a visiting pastor. Something about the way they were talking I didn’t like and it irritated my spirit. Later we went to our house to eat a sandwich. He began slandering someone. I knew then this was what he and the other preacher were talking about earlier. I had firsthand information about the person the preacher was slandering. What he was saying and heard was true, but did I need to squirt lighter fluid on it? I could. I knew a lot. Or did I need to throw water on and snub it? I leaned forward and placed my plate down. My wife watched me and thought, “Oh no! This isn’t going to be good.” I looked the man in the eye and said, “You are talking about my friend. I am not going to talk negatively about him or allow you in my house or my presence.” Of course, the room filled with tension as he crawfished. There was a breach in our relationship afterward, but I would rather lose his friendship than God turn his back on me. I want good days, answered prayers, and God’s favor.
We need to see how we respond to gossip as a test, determining the level of blessings we have on our lives and blessings passed on to our children. Plus, when the time comes you need mercy for your failure, and it will come, God will make certain you receive mercy.
Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, FOR THEY WILL BE SHOWN MERCY.
The mercy you show others is exactly the mercy God will show you and your children. When you protect another’s reputation God will protect your reputation.
You have the responsibility to stop gossip, slander, spreading rumors, etc. “Yes, but Delbert, it was a big mistake.” Have you ever made a big mistake? What did you need – someone to tell everyone about your mistake, or someone to restore you (Gal 6:1), help you up, cover you, and protect you? Remember the woman caught in adultery? Jesus told those hateful religious people if any of them were without a big mistake to throw the first stone (Joh 8:7).
Do you want your days filled with good things, God to respond well to your prayers, and God’s favor on your life? Do you want your life, your children, and your descendants blessed? Do you want God’s mercy when you mess up and have a failure? Then do these four things: 1) say nothing evil or hateful about anyone; 2) snub evil talking; 3) cultivate good; 4) run after peace for all you are worth. Put away your lighter fluid. Fill you water bucket and snub gossip, rumors, innuendoes, talebearers, and slander. Smile Staying Positive when… or by Avoiding Gossip and Slander. “God looks on all this with approval.”
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