Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Spirit Of Malice

Proverbs 26:20 Where no wood is, there the fire goes out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceases.

      George Harrison said, "Gossip is the Devil's radio."
      Throw another log on the fire and see the sparks fly. It does not take much rumor to ruin a person's life. It can be a false accusation and still the damage can be irreparable even after the proof has been shown that the rumor was false. Too late, the words that were spoken start to take on a life of their own and malice is born. Out of malice come the full maliciousness of man and all the results of that sin.
      My wife has been telling me of her friend's children who have been bullied in school this year. There seems to be a new wave of it even with all the anti-bully campaigns and commercials concerning this cowardice attack. All bullying starts with hurtful words that sting and bruise the inner man. Radicalism, tribalism and self-ism seem to be the polarizing factors in a lot of nations these days. Many people are just reacting to rumor and spin that is being dished out twenty-four-seven on all the McNews channels.
 Psalm 12:1 Help, LORD; for the godly man ceases; for the faithful fail from among the children of men. 2 They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak. 
      It has become very hard to separate truth from innuendo, or even pure malice when presented as newsworthy. Many citizens have become listless in attitude toward life as a result of drowning in all these forms of tabloid media. We end up repeating what we have heard and wonder if any of it is true, meanwhile contributing to the perpetual gossip-mill. James 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
      The old adage, "If someone is gossiping to you, then they will gossip about you," still wholes true. How do we distance ourselves from this corrosive pastime? I say corrosive because it does eventually hurt our lives in relationship and health. Prov. 26:22 The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly. 
      What does God say we can do to overcome this attack on our human condition? James 3:2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. There it is Saints, the road to perfection is in our choices of the words we use or don't use. Having the courage to walk away from the talebearer or changing the subject is the beginning of this road to overcoming when it comes to gossip.
      We read in the book of Numbers the story of Miriam and Aaron who started gossiping their disapproval concerning Moses's foreign wife. Num. 12:1 And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. The result causes friction in family relations and the very health of the gossiper, Miriam. 
      There is also another important matter that we often do not think about. God will also hear what is being said and He will step in and vindicate His anointed. Num. 12:10  And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous. 11 And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned. 
      As the proverb says, "The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly." In Miriam's case, the wound entered her skin and she had to live with that hideous condition for seven days. How was her word life after that experience? Did Miriam think twice before running off at the mouth with "Did you hear what happened to so and so?" 
      I say we need to think twice before entering into and giving space in our hearts to the spirit of malice. Prov. 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. May blessings and good words come from our voices. Amen.

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