“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil. But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:33-37
I have to admit something. I was very convicted this previous month about the fact that I had become more prone to gossip. Of course I masked it in prayerful concern and even justified my audience as being that kind of friend I could “vent” to.
I was convicted that no matter how I veiled it or who I said it to, gossip is gossip, and it is very sinful.
We should all be humbled when we see in our verse above how God feels about careless words. You are rotten fruit, a poisonous snake, evil, condemned. On the other hand if you always are honoring in speech you are good fruit, pleasant to the tongue and healthy to the body, a rich man, justified.
We must pray like the Psalmist “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!” (Psalm 141:3) Our true character is shown by what comes out of our mouths. May the Lord be what comes from us, not the darkness of our sin.
What the Bible Says about Gossip:
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29
Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered. Proverbs 11:13
There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. Proverbs 6:16-19
Whoever slanders his neighbor secretly I will destroy. Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart I will not endure. Psalm 101:5
Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. James 4:11
What the Bible Says about Edifying Speech:
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; James 1:19
Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. Proverbs 16:24
Desire to teach your children how to tame their tongue? Check out It’s the Heart, Not the Hemline 5 week unit study on Modesty – including Modesty of SPEECH!
Tearing Down the Image of God
“But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; 10 from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.” Read all of James 3:2-10 for more.
Please, Sister, be careful to not tear down another. That person you speak of was made in the image of God. When you tear someone down in a sense you are tearing down the image of God. Tread lightly for gossip is serious and not something to be ignored in others, nor tolerated in your own heart.
I would love to hear what you think about these verses. Have you been a gossip in the past, or do you feel convicted as I have been? Please share your experience below.
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