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  • John T. Polk II 7:59 am on June 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , drunkard, , gossip, , ,   

    (#180) The Proverbs of Solomon 26:6-7, 9-10-Misplaced Trust 

    Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

    Proverbs 26:6-7, 9-10: “He who sends a message by the hand of a fool Cuts off his own feet and drinks violence. Like the legs of the lame that hang limp Is a proverb in the mouth of fools…Like a thorn that goes into the hand of a drunkard Is a proverb in the mouth of fools. The great God who formed all things Gives the fool his hire and the transgressor his wages.

    “Fools” are people who live worldly lives and ignore God’s Laws: “A wise man fears and departs from evil, But a fool rages and is self-confident” (Proverbs 14:16); “A stone is heavy and sand is weighty, But a fool’s wrath is heavier than both of them” (Proverbs 27:3); “A fool vents all his feelings, But a wise man holds them back” (Proverbs 29:11); “A wise man’s heart is at his right hand, But a fool’s heart at his left” (Ecclesiastes 10:2). Therefore they cannot be trusted like someone who is obedient to God: “But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him” (Colossians 3:8-10).

    Verse 6: After reading about “fools” in the Book of Proverbs, knowing they do not respect God, truth, responsibility, or concern about others, depending upon “a fool” to accurately pass along “a message” makes the sender seem as lame as the message! Such is the stuff of gossip, slander, and libel: “He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets; Therefore do not associate with one who flatters with his lips” (Proverbs 20:19). People who refuse to work are usually guilty of “gossip” (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12).

    Verse 7: “A proverb” is designed to parallel an earthly truth with heavenly understanding. Solomon said: “And moreover, because the Preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yes, he pondered and sought out and set in order many proverbs. The Preacher sought to find acceptable words; and what was written was upright-words of truth” (Ecclesiastes 12:9-10). Jesus said: “If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?” (John 3:12). “Lame legs” cannot bear their user, neither can a “proverb” convey truth to “a fool.” Jesus used “parables” for that reason (Matthew 13:10-13).

    Verse 9: “A drunkard” has lost sensitivity to pain (Proverbs 23:35), so would not consciously understand a parable that he/she taught!

    Verse 10: ALL of this inequity, uncertainty, and lack of dependability will be paid back, for God will judge and punish “fools” by giving them their “hire” and pay them back what they have earned, for “he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality” (Colossians 3:25).

    “Fools” can be saved, but only if they repent of being foolish. Christians were “once foolish,” but saved by the “kindness and love of God our Savior” when they repented and were baptized “for the remission of sins” (Titus 3:3-7; Acts 2:38, 41, 47). Don’t trust in foolishness!

    All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

     
  • John T. Polk II 2:00 am on January 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , gossip, , , , , ,   

    (#139) The Proverbs of Solomon 19:9-To Tell The Truth About Lies 

    Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

    Proverbs 19:9: “A false witness will not go unpunished, And he who speaks lies shall perish.”

    Bearing “false witness” is the same as a “lie.” This is not the same as someone who misunderstands, isn’t sure, or otherwise is innocently ignorant of the facts. A “false witness” (liar) is stating as fact that which is intended to avoid the truth about someone or something. Since it is “Satan who deceives the whole world” (Revelation 12:9), God hates “a false witness who speaks lies” (Proverbs 6:19), and so should every righteous person (Psalm 119:104-“Through Your precepts I get understanding; Therefore I hate every false way;” Psalm 119:163-“I hate and abhor lying, But I love Your law”). Since we cannot know everything, as God does, we must rely upon witnesses to give us facts upon which to make our decisions. As we sift through human statements, God’s witness is always right, best, and objective. Other proverbs uphold this: “A false witness will not go unpunished, And he who speaks lies will not escape” (Proverbs 19:5); “A disreputable witness scorns justice, And the mouth of the wicked devours iniquity” (Proverbs 19:28); “A man who bears false witness against his neighbor Is like a club, a sword, and a sharp arrow” (Proverbs 25:18).

    “A false witness shall perish, But the man who hears him will speak endlessly” (Proverbs 21:28). And the tragedy is many will hear the man who speaks endlessly on a subject about which he has been sorely misinformed. “Evolution” is one of these subjects based entirely upon “false witness,” as there is no scientific fact, no passage of Scripture, and no common sense known to mankind that establishes any, or all, of the “lie.” “Global Warming” (now, “Climate Change”) is another subject about which only “false witnesses” are sure, while weather scientists and observers demonstrate that, for many decades, there is no “global warming” directly caused by humans (or occurring at all!). And God’s decree in Scripture (Genesis 8:22) continues to be obeyed throughout His Earth, regardless of media propaganda contrariwise. Since Satan is “the accuser of our brethren” (Revelation 12:10), then “gossip” about fellow humans is bearing “false witness” not based upon fact or our personal knowledge.

    Jesus Christ was crucified by “false witnesses.” “Now the chief priests and all the council sought testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, but found none. For many bore false witness against Him, but their testimonies did not agree. Then some rose up and bore false witness against Him, saying, ‘We heard Him say, “I will destroy this temple made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.”’ But not even then did their testimony agree” (Mark 14:55-59). Jesus never said that of the “temple made with hands” but spoke “of the temple of His body” (John 2:19-22).

    There is so much “false witness” being passed around, established truth centers around Jesus Christ, Who said, “for this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37). Everyone who follows Jesus Christ will be truthful with him/herself, and with others, because “no lie is of the truth” (1 John 2:21).

    All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

     
  • John T. Polk II 4:00 am on July 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , gossip, , , , , , tabloid mentality, tale-bearing, ,   

    (#38) The Proverbs of Solomon 11:12-13-Table the Tabloid Talk! 

    Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

    Proverbs 11:12-13: “He who is devoid of wisdom despises his neighbor, But a man of understanding holds his peace. 13 A talebearer reveals secrets, But he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter.”

    It is thoughtless to “despise” (show contempt, consider beneath) one’s “neighbor” (ones closest, associates), and everyone who understands this “holds his peace.” No one wants to be around anyone who constantly puts down others by criticizing, complaining and nit-picking, especially behind their backs! This is called gossiping or “talebearing,” and it has always been condemned by God, in the Old and New Testaments, as detrimental to friendships, family, or society, in general (Leviticus 19:16; Romans 1:29-30; 1 Timothy 5:11-15)! Whoever gossips about others to you, will gossip about you to others!

    Other proverbs on this subject include: “The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, And they go down into the inmost body” (Proverbs 18:8; 26:22); “He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets; Therefore do not associate with one who flatters with his lips” (Proverbs 20:19); “Where there is no wood, the fire goes out; And where there is no talebearer, strife ceases. As charcoal is to burning coals, and wood to fire, So is a contentious man to kindle strife.” (Proverbs 26:20-21).  Gossip may sound like something we want to know (“tasty trifles”), but it should remain “secret.” Most people don’t need to know the deeds or details of the perversity of others. Christians are told that “it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret” (Ephesians 5:12). We should not “associate” with anyone who misuses listeners and abuses their subjects that way! To kill a fire, we remove the fuel; therefore to kill “strife,” we should take a talebearer out of the communication equation. We should reject all race baiters, labor baiters, or profit baiters whose half-truths, or no truths, create and inflame divisions and hatred between segments of church or society. There is a “time to be silent” (Ecclesiastes 3:7) about such matters, and be “counted wise:” “He who has knowledge spares his words, And a man of understanding is of a calm spirit. Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive” (Proverbs 17:27-28). We must overcome our tendency to have a “tabloid mentality,” and instead insist upon facts, repentance, and forgiveness, as Jesus Christ commands (Matthew 18:15-17).

    All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

     
  • Michael Summers 8:50 pm on July 9, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , gossip, , , , , ,   

    Job’s Friends, Labeling, and Us 

    We label items to help us account for them and use them efficiently. Both leaders and office workers use carefully named folders (computer and traditional) to organize their material. Labels help to find and also help us to understand. The packaging for food and other commercial items will inform us what is inside, whether it has been inspected, what risks it poses to us (proper use, calories, fat grams, etc.), and how to dispose of it after use. Labels sometimes confuse or misdirect. Signs on dumpsters that state, “This is not a dumpster,” clearly misinform. A dumpster (a large container for item disposal) is a specifically designed piece of equipment. The sign-maker perhaps should have written, “This dumpster is for recycling only. Do not place trash in it.”
    We also label people. Soldiers wear uniforms that often have their names and ranks affixed. Soldiers who have trained in special skills may wear badges that identify those skills. Workers in the restaurant and hospitality industries wear uniforms that identify their employer, their name, and their place within the organization. Prisoners today often wear brightly colored uniforms that identify them as such. We may also describe people according their height, weight, skin pigmentation, religious preference, and a variety of other variables. During Jesus’ ministry, a disciple tried to label someone by asking, “Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born…? We sometimes label people verbally with derogatory descriptions.
    Friends of the biblical character Job also labeled him. They said, “Wicked man (Job 15:20),” “blustering wind (8:2),”deceitful (11:11).” We ourselves find it easy to criticize those friends even when, if we reflected, we might have done the same as they. Job rebuked them for their labeling of him. To reinforce the righteousness of such rebuke, God himself berated the frustrated advisors of Job. We spot some of their mistakes easily. They misjudged Job’s character, despite having known him for years. Job reminded them in the twenty-ninth chapter of Job how his words had commanded the respect of community leaders. Job had rescued the poor and championed the cause of strangers. He had clothed himself in righteousness and justice. Job’s friends no longer remembered those days. The Job they saw before them deserved rebuke, or so they thought. His loss of family, his financial devastation and physical suffering compelled them to conclude that Job must have sinned greatly to warrant such severe punishment from God.
    Job’s friends struggled because their worldview did not allow for a series of catastrophes devastating a righteous person. We too struggle today when we encounter new situations or meet people who challenge the categories we use to label people, events, and religious doctrines. Job’s friends, despite their faults, actually did a few things right. Before they castigated him, they wept with him, tore their robes, and sprinkled dust on their heads to show their grief over his situation. They sat silently with him for several days. They failed, however, to listen; they failed to consider that the origins of Job’s suffering might be more complex than they imagined. They spoke from ignorance.
    Some labels accurately define what they describe. Poison warnings on bottles save lives. Jesus sometimes labeled people, calling some religious leaders “hypocrites” and a devoted disciple who didn’t quite understand his master’s mission “Satan.”
    Labels can destroy lives. People sometimes harm themselves after being labeled wrongly by people who did not know them, or envied them, or just had wrong information. Labels can destroy ministry. Judaizing teachers labeled Paul. I observed on on-line discussion in which a preacher asked if a church fit a one-word (label) description. An intriguing aspect of the ensuing discussion was that subsequent contributors had different definitions for the label or even admitted their confusion as to what the questioner meant by the term. Ignorance makes labels dangerous. We may not know what another believes.
    Job’s friends started well. They grieved with him. They sat silently with him. Still they did not truly understand Job. If only they had listened. Will we?

     
  • Richard Mansel 9:16 am on April 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , gossip, , , , ,   

    Tidbits and Prayer Requests 

    Hello! I hope all of our readers are doing well. I wanted to share a potpourri of thoughts with you this Friday morning. We appreciate you very much.

    • It is a beautiful sunny day in Southeast Georgia. We ask your prayers that we can get some rain. Our drought is nothing like the Southwest has suffered, but we are double digits below normal for three years. It is sad to see so many ponds dry. Also, continue to pray for rain in the Southwest, they desperately need it.
    • I also ask your prayers for me as I continue battling a neurological condition. The pain has been especially bad, lately. I see a new neurologist in two weeks.
    • I read that the Baptists in Kentucky are having a symposium on Calvinism. They say that only one of the speakers is a Five-Point Calvinist. I wish they would figure out that the Baptist doctrine of salvation is Calvinist-Lite and return to the truth of Scripture on how to be saved.

    BTW, here is a shameless plug for my book on how to be saved.

    • On a lighter note, the 17 year-old son of one of my cousins didn’t know who John Wayne was. Moments like these seriously make you feel old. Likewise, I recently realized that in 2014 it will have been 20 years since I finished graduate school at Freed-Hardeman University. Time flies much too quickly.
    • I am listening to the Bible on digital audio. As I write, I am listening to Acts 11.
    • I am privileged to develop a manuscript on John 21 for the Southeast Georgia Lectureship at Richmond Hill. The lectureship is October 27-28. The last chapter of John is a fascinating study and I look forward to taking it apart and finding the treasures there.

    This Sunday morning I will be speaking on James 3:1, “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.”

    Of this passage, Burton Coffman writes:

    “James did not seek to discourage any who might have been qualified for such work. As Harper suggested, ‘His words were meant to remind us of our responsibilities, rather than to deter us from our duties.’”

    We must not allow this passage to be a path of rationalization to avoid evangelism. We must all become more knowledgeable about Scripture. What thoughts do you have on this verse?

    For your reading:

     
    • J. Randal Matheny 12:57 pm on April 30, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Enjoyed this. Good quote there, too. Is the lectureship on the book of John? Will there be a book to come out of it?

      • Richard Mansel 1:03 pm on April 30, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you. The congregation does put together a book of all the manuscripts. This year it will be on the last few chapters of John, looking at the last few days of Christ’s life. I think this will be the 8th or 9th year I’ve spoken there. Looking forward to it.

  • Eugene Adkins 3:03 pm on March 25, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: gossip, ,   

    Eating Our Own Words 

    In reference to the words we use, James asks his readers a rhetorical question – “Does the fountain send from the same outlet sweet and bitter water?” (James 3:11 BBE)

    When James used the word “bitter” he was describing words that are harsh and used with ill intent. Bitter words destroy unity, morale and trust. One of the quickest ways to destroy unity, morale and trust in the church is with the bitter words of gossip.

    How can we keep from using the bitter words of gossip?

    1)      When you hear about gossip address it.  When you hear someone spreading gossip about someone else ask them if they ever talked to the person that they’re talking about. If not, there’s a very good chance that what they’re saying is wrong! If you hear about someone gossiping about you, especially if it’s a brother or sister in Christ, go ask them about it (Matthew 18:15-17).

    2)      Think about the way it would make you feel if someone were spreading whatever you’re saying about you or your loved ones. Some people have no problem with gossip unless it’s about them…and if that’s the problem we’ve got, then we need to keep the shoe on the other foot.

    3)      If someone tells you something personal, keep it personal! Don’t go around acting like the church “TMZ.”

    4)      Live in a way so when someone says something negative about you, nobody will believe it (1 Thessalonians 5:22). Some Christians love to give “impressions” and then get mad when the “impression” makes its mark.

    5)      Get busy rowing the boat and you won’t have time to rock it! I will always be convinced that if a person is truly interested in making the church a better place to grow, to learn and to help others, then they won’t make messes that they’ll have to clean up.

    When James used the word “sweet” he was talking about using words that bless (vs. 9) and benefit the hearers. The word sweet is translated from the Greek word Glukus pronounced gloo-koos (can you hear glucose in there?). The basic idea is that sweet words are words that refresh and give energy.

    How can we remember to use words that are sweet?

    1)      By being merciful with the way we talk. “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” (Colossians 4:6 NKJV) Paul isn’t talking about the kind of salt that goes on wounds and burns. He’s talking about the kind of salt that’s let people know you care.

    2)      By strengthening others with the way we talk. “The lips of the righteous feed many,…” (Proverbs 10:21 NKJV) What would our words do to us if we had to listen to them all of the time? Would they pull the life right out of us, or put the life right in us?

    3)      By complimenting others with the way we talk. “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” (Proverbs 25:11 NKJV) Do you know what it feels like to be genuinely complemented? Why wouldn’t we want to share a feeling like that?

    We have all made mistakes with the words we use (James 3:8), but the question is are we learning from those mistakes and striving to do better? If we had to eat our words – or rather, when we have to eat them, how are they going to taste? (Matthew 12:36,37) James says we’re going to have to decide what kind of spring we’re going to have, so which will it be?

    If you would like to check out more thoughts on James 3:7-12 (particularly verse 11) then continue reading here at http://keltonburgpreacher.wordpress.com/2012/03/25/how-do-our-words-taste

     
  • Eugene Adkins 6:34 am on March 23, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: gossip, ,   

    I Heard it Through the Grapevine 

    Sometimes the source of the news from “the grapevine” is sour grapes!

    Let’s be careful in understanding the difference between passing along information and passing along gossip after it reaches our ears.

    Gossip can be such a tempting thing, but if we know it’s gossip, then we should let it die on the vine. Let’s strive today to pass along the Good News instead of the sour stuff.

    He who goes about talking of others makes secrets public, but the true-hearted man keeps things covered.” (Proverbs 11:13 BEV)

     
    • J. Randal Matheny 7:07 am on March 23, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Great post, Eugene. What’s the BEV? That’s a new one on me.

      • Eugene Adkins 7:16 am on March 23, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        It’s a translation called the Basic English Version on an older Bible Program I have. The program lets me use two versions at the same time along with a concordance and some other stuff. I keep the BEV and the KJV with strong’s #’s up for my studies. The BEV seems to be a fairly reliable version with a few exceptions in the NT, but the OT is really good, especially in books like Proverbs.

        • Weylan Deaver 8:53 am on March 23, 2012 Permalink

          The BEV is a new one to me, too. My grandfather used the Greek, ASV and KJV, but he enjoyed reading from the Berkeley Version (which is rarely heard of).

        • Eugene Adkins 5:53 pm on March 23, 2012 Permalink

          Hey Weylan, since you and Randal both asked, I decided to try and check out what else I could find out. It seems as if what my Bible program is calling the Basic English Version is called the Bible in Basic English in other places on the Internet.

          Here’s a link – http://www.biblestudytools.com/bbe/

          I guess maybe I should start using BBE although my program uses BEV if I want to be “technically” correct. I thought I would pass this along in case you guys wanted to check it out further.

  • TFRStaff 2:34 pm on April 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: gossip, social pressure,   

    TFR: They Say 

    A philosophical nobleman, a man of the world, had three sentences written on his castle gate. Misunderstood by his neighbors, and shunned by a large part of the community, the three lines on the door naturally bore some reference to that fact.

    When he started to ride out over his estate each morning, he would first rein his horse up in front of the big portal with its prominent lettering, and read aloud:

    They Say!

    What Do They Say?

    Let Them Say!

    And then, with the last word, he would laugh, put spurs to his horse and gallop off.

    It would be a pity if Christians should allow a man of the world to outdo them in the obtainment of victory over the onslaughts of men and devils. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And lo, the answer that some would be compelled to give would be so representative of nothing, that smiles and laughter would have to come. Somebody had talked about you! But everybody is talked about. Someone has misrepresented you! But who has escaped here. And was not the Lord Himself discussed, slandered, and accused of saying things that He never uttered?

    By B. Carradine

    “Thoughts For Today to Brighten Your Day” by Glenn Hitchcock

     
  • Ron Thomas 5:17 am on February 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: gossip   

    Do Not Sink A Ship 

    There will be many people who speak peaceably, pleasantly, but “lie in wait” to entrap. There are people who, unfortunately, take the conversation and let another know about it – when it should have stayed private. People like this are, almost, entirely useless! They are gossips and the value of their trust is like having a submarine with a screen-door hatch! Speech of this kind ought not to come from the mouth of people who desire to be thought of as decent, and even more so if they call themselves Christian. Are words these words that will build up, strengthen, and give people a reason for substantive hope? It might be a challenge to each of us to check our tongues at the door of our lips. Rather than open the lips and allow the tongue out, let us keep our lips sealed and not sink a ship! RT

     
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