This Sunday, July 23rd, 2017, Pastor Duane White unpacked an amazing message on our series Timeless Ten here at The Bridge Church in Denton, TX.

Timeless Ten: How to Hold the Truth

“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor,” (Exodus 20:16, NKJV).

An ad for an electrician was put out stating they were looking for electricians who were skilled and had experience working with sontag connectors. 170 ppl applied for the job, but the funny thing is, there is no such thing as a sontag connector. The research company was trying to determine how many people would lie on an application to get a job.

Every teacher knows that parents will fight teachers all day long declaring boldly that “my little Johnny never lies!”, even though they were caught red handed. One discerning teacher sent a note home saying: “If you promise not to believe everything little Johnny says happens at school, I will promise not believe everything he says happens at home.”

Reality is, we live in a world of truth decay.

 

The 9th commandment is basically: “Tell the truth, but especially concerning other people.”

God cares about all His kids, and He cares about what all his kids are saying to each others about all of His other kids. Lies and rumors spoken about somebody can devastate and even ruin people’s lives and reputation.
Here are seven things the Lord hates:

  1. A proud look
  2. A lying tongue
  3. Hands that shed innocent blood
  4. A heart that devises wicked plans
  5. Feet that are swift in running to evil
  6. A false witness who speaks lies
  7. And one who sows discord among brethren
    (Proverbs 6:16–19, NKJV)

Actually The entire Bible is very strong in warning us about false testimony.
You can see it in three major categories:

  1. Gossip
  2. Slander
  3. Flattery

“…being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,” (Romans 1:29-30).

POEM ON GOSSIP
My name is gossip
I have no respect for justice
I make without killing
I break hearts and ruin lives
I’m cunning and malicious
and gather strength with age
The more I am quoted, the more I am believed
I flourish at every level of society
My victims are helpless
They can not protect themselves against me,
because I have no face
To track me down is impossible
The harder you try the more elusive I become
I am nobody’s friend.
Once I tarnish a reputation,
It can never be the same.
I topple governments,
wreck marriages and ruin careers.
I cause sleepless nights and heartaches,
I spawn suspicion and generate grief.
I make innocent people cry on their pillows.
Even my name hisses… gossssssssip.

What is gossip? Gossip is hearing something you like about someone you don’t like. It is also the speedy transmission of near factual information.
Passing on information about someone, even if factual, knowing it will damage their reputation and/or make them look bad in the hearers ears.

It’s not the things that go in one ear and out the other that causes the most damage, but rather that which goes in one ear and gets all jumbled up and comes out the mouth.

Gossip travels fastest through grapevine that is at least slightly soured. We even call gossip “Juicy”.

When someone begins a conversation with: “I probably shouldn’t tell you this,” your reply should be “Ok, then please don’t!”

“A perverse man spreads strife, And a slanderer separates intimate friends,” (Proverbs 16:28).

Slander is malicious untruth, with the intention of doing harm. Insinuation makes a statement to lead you to believe something that is not true. It provides the building blocks and lets others construct the lie on their own.

Flattery is saying things to someone’s face that you would never say behind their back. Flattery is insincere praise.

Why do we do it? To get a promotion with our boss?  To get people to think more highly of yourself than they should?

Here are a few practical things to turn the tide and tame the tongue:

  • Examine our own heart. We lie to put our own interests above everything else including the truth, and out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.
  • Refuse to gossip.

“For lack of wood, the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, contention quiets down,” (Proverbs 26:20).

  • Verify the source. Honesty means everything you say must be true, not everything that is true must be said.
  • Know no one after the flesh. 

This commandment is not about censorship, but rather how to create a sense of community and healthy loving relationships that include discretion, and are built of trust and mutual respect.

In any community of people there are times we need to speak up about situations or circumstances that could be detrimental or harmful to others, but the key is to hold the truth in love. When love is the motivator, you only tell those who can resolve to bring healing and restoration to the situation. Saying anything to anybody else is gossip or slander.

Before you say anything negative to anybody about someone else, you should know that the answer is yes to these four questions:

  • Is it true?
  • Is telling this to this person bringing life to the situation?
  • Will it do anybody any good to say it?
  • Can this person help bring healing and restoration to the situation?

The truth is not factual information, the truth is greater than the facts.

“Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more,” (2 Corinthians 5:16, KJV).

“So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer,” (2 Corinthians 5:16, NIV).

It’s time for the taming of the tongue.

“Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so,” (James 3:3-10, NKJV).

How are you doing with this tiny, potentially unruly member of the body?

Everybody has gossiped at one point or another, but what about right now? Have you been gossiping? Slandering? Fattering? Have you been speaking about people according to the flesh and not the spirit?

If so, simply repent, and ask God’s forgiveness and His grace to stop it. 

Everybody has gossiped but also, everybody has been hurt by gossip. If gossip has hurt or damaged you, have you forgiven the person?
Will you let God speak His truth to all those lies?

Watch the full message here:

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