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Summary: This message continues the series, and looks at the problems rumor and slander can bring into our lives, and how to deal witih these two "tongue" issues.

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WALKING AROUND FOR WORDS

“Controlling Rumor and Slander”

Proverbs 11:13

A gossip betrays a confidence,

but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.

R.G. LeTourneau, the owner of a large earth moving equipment company, often told this story: “We used to have a scraper known as the model “G”. Somebody asked one of our salesmen one day what the “G” stood for. The salesman was pretty quick on the trigger, and after thinking a few seconds, replied, “Well, I guess the “G” stands for gossip, because like gossip, this machine moves a lot of dirt, and moves it fast!”

INTRODUCTION: Once rumor and slander begin, it is tough to win against them! As we seek to bring our tongues under control – to adjust our speaking and communication on a more Godly course, we must deal with this area of rumor and slander. The key difference with these two destructive areas of speech is what lies behind them. Are they idle communication, or intentional communication? Yet, regardless of intent, both have no place in the life of a believer, and God has given us some wisdom in dealing with them.

I THE ROOT OF TRASH TALK

Tim. 5:13 Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to.

A Our Nature – We are curious people

1 We like to hear the news

2 Want to know what is happening

3 The juicier the better!

I am amazed at the proliferation of gossip magazines and newspapers. Each having a different scope EVERY week. Each placed where you have to see them! We are curious people indeed!

B Our Time – We have too much of it!

1 Would you ever have expected me to say we have too much time?

2 Well, we do if we have time to gossip and spread slander.

3 Today it has gotten easier: telephones, emails, and websites.

a Type in a couple of key words and BINGO – everything you wanted to know about everything!

C Our Ego

1 We like to be the center of attention, and nothing puts us at the center than knowing something no one else knows

2 We like to be “elevated”, and speaking negatively about someone else allows me to feel better about myself.

3 We feel the need for some sort of revenge.

There was a time in my first church that I had to deal with a particular individual. She served as the music director of the church. In fact, before I had gotten there the church had voted this person as the Music Director, the Pianist, and The Organist -- all at the same time. Each time I tried to make any adjustment to the music, or to encourage others to use their musically based gifts, I was thwarted. After several attempts to deal with this problem, I finally asked for their resignation. They left, taking about ten people with them, and soon a rumor circulated around the town, that I had refused to visit their spouse who was sick , and had been one of the most committed people in the church. I had never even met the person. For almost 6 months, my name was mud.

4 We need comfort – misery still loves company

“TRASH TALK”, IS EITHER IDLE AND DAMAGING, OR INTENTIONAL AND MALICIOUS

II THE SEED OF RUMOR IS GOSSIP

A Whispering is not bad in and of itself, yet, in Scripture whispering is NEVER used in a positive way

1 Whispering in Scripture is a figurative expression for gossip

THE BOOK OF PROVERBS HAS A LOT TO SAY ABOUT GOSSIP OR WHISPERERS

B The Truth About Gossips

1 Gossips are untrustworthy

Proverbs 11:13 A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.

Proverbs 20:19 A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much.

2 Gossips are accelerants

a Gasoline

b Lays Potato Chips – Once you start, too good to stop

Proverbs 26:20 Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down.

Proverbs 18:8 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts.

3 Gossips are wedges

a Can gossip to a person

b Can gossip about a person too

Proverbs 16:28 A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends.

C The Problem With Gossip

1 Gossip allows evil a foothold in our lives

2 Gossip ruins my fellowship with God

Psalm 15:1-3

A psalm of David.

LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? 2He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart 3and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman,

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