October 14, 2007
Evening Morning Service
Immanuel Baptist Church, Wagoner, OK
Message Point: Don’t gossip.
Focus Passage: Exodus 20:16
Supplemental Passage: James 3:2-6
Introduction: The book The Day America Told the Truth says that 91 percent of those surveyed lie routinely about matters they consider trivial, and 36 percent lie about important matters; 86 percent lie regularly to parents, 75 percent to friends, 73 percent to siblings, and 69 percent to spouses.
I. A lying tongue is easy to justify
a. "You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.” Luke 16:15
b. Everybody does it; it’s only a little white lie. (everyone will be colorblind)
c. "All men are liars." Psalms 116:11 All people are born with a sin nature. That is not justification for continuing in that sin. It is used to open our eyes to the need of a Savior.
II. A lying tongue will lead to misery
a. “Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips, from a deceitful tongue.” Ps 120:2 A) A lie has no legs. It requires other lies to support it. Tell one lie and you are forced to tell others to back it up.
b. Bob Harris, weatherman for NY TV station WPIX-TV and the nationally syndicated independent Network news, had to weather a public storm of his own making in 1979. Though he had studied math, physics and geology at three colleges, he left school without a degree but with a strong desire to be a media weatherman. He phoned WCBS-TV, introducing himself as a Ph.D. in geophysics from Columbia U. The phony degree got him in the door. After a two-month tryout, he was hired as an off-camera forecaster for WCBS. For the next decade his career flourished. He became widely known as "Dr. Bob." He was also hired by the New York Times as a consulting meteorologist.
Forty years of age and living his childhood dream, he found himself in public disgrace and national humiliation when an anonymous letter prompted WCBS management to investigate his academic credentials. Both the station and the New York Times fired him. His story got attention across the land. He was on the Today Show, the Tomorrow Show, and in People Weekly, among others. He thought he’d lose his home and never work in the media again. WNEW-TV gave him a job. He admits it was a dreadful mistake on his part and doubtless played a role in his divorce. "I took a shortcut that turned out to be the long way around, and one day the bill came due. I will be sorry as long as I am alive."
III. A lying tongue is contrary to the character of God.
a. God desires truth in our life: “Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.” Ps. 51:6
b. Into Your hand I commit my spirit; “You have ransomed me, O LORD, God of truth.” Ps. 31:5 Jesus said “I am the Way, the TRUTH, and the Life…” Jn. 14:6
c. The truth should be combined with love; you can’t be vindictive or mean.