Outline: Strong antidote for gossip. Begins with incident in Amazon tribe of man who was wrongly killed because of a false rumor. Paraphrase of James 3:2-12. Condemns the destructive power of gossip. Appeal to discern truth, repent of sins of the mouth and speak things kind, true and necessary.
|Theme:||Witchcraft, paganism; Spiritual Growth; Sin, disobedience|
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Listen my brothers and I will tell you what a very bad thing it is to say bad things about other people.
There once lived a man in a large tribe on the Amazon River. He had a wife and two children. One day several of his own people from another village came to his village. They asked the chief if they could kill the man and he gave them permission; only they had to take the victim outside the village so his blood wouldn't be shed inside the village. So they went to his hut, dragged him to the jungle and killed him with clubs. Why did this happen?
This happened because another man in the other village told a lie. He said the man was practicing witchcraft and causing sickness. That is why his wife and children had to sing the death wail. He was murdered because of a lie. He wasn't even a witchdoctor. It is very bad to say unkind and untrue things about other people. It always causes trouble.
Listen to what God's Word says about gossiping. "If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. We put bridles in the mouths of horses so they will obey us, and we can control their whole body. Think about the ships also. Although they are so big and the winds which push them are strong, the captain controls them as he wants to with a small rudder. That is the way it is with our tongues. It is a very small part of the body but is capable of many big things. What a huge forest can be burned by such a little fire. And the tongue is a fire. It is a world of badness placed in our bodies, which contaminates our whole being. It is set on fire by hell and burns through the whole course of our life. Man can tame all kinds of animals and birds, and snakes, and fishes of the sea, but no one can tame the tongue. It is a badness which won't let itself be dominated; it is an unresting evil, and is full of poisonous venom. With the same tongue we praise God and also curse men that God has made in His own image. From the same mouth come praises and curses. Brothers, this should not be like this. Can a spring send out at the same time sweet water and bitter? Can a fig tree bear olive berries? Can a grape vine give figs? Then of course a spring cannot send forth both bitter water and sweet."
Brothers, we learn two things from God's teaching. First of all we shouldn't believe everything we hear. We should find out if it is true. Secondly, we should ask God to forgive us for lying, and even for saying unkind things about people that might be true. Ask God to give you a tongue like that fresh clear spring of water. Before you say anything about someone else, ask God if it is kind, if it is true, and if it is necessary.
Ref.: James 3: 2-12