My last post was nearly a year ago. . . .WOW -- That's a long time.
So, I think I'll start off with some excerpts from messages by Michael Pearl. This entire series has been a great encouragement to us because it reminded us of the many ways God has transformed our lives.
These particular quotes have to do with gossiping, telling tales, whispering, backbiting, etc. Why would THAT be an encouragement? If you've ever held a position of responsibility that required discretion while making decisions that affect others, you'll understand completely. It's no fun to be the subject of speculation by strangers (or by 'friends' that suppose they have all the details). It's not pleasant to be accused of maliciousness when the opposite is true. Then again, there's the old saying that if you aren't encountering opposition, then you aren't doing much.
So, if you're finding yourself on the receiving end of suspicion, accusations and those that enjoy strife and conflict, you may find this an encouragement as well. If you'd like to listen to the entire series, you can find a copy here:
50 SINS by Michael Pearl
[. . .]Now the 34th sin.
Sin is whispering about someone. That's one of the sins listed in the scripture. Whispering it's called. That's the sin of whispering. Now, there's nothing wrong with whispering when you're in church and you have to tell your wife to go ahead take the kid out because the diaper's messed up and you can smell it. You need to whisper that. But this whispering is when you are saying something to someone about someone else and you're not saying it where everyone can hear, just this person, or a very small circle. You'll see people do it like this – just two of them. They know they're saying something they shouldn't. They put their hand over their mouth and start talking low.
Telling something JUICY, BAD . . . Oh, so sad!
Oh, we need to pray about SOMEBODY ELSE and what they did.'
Now, dirty news is always interesting – especially if it's somebody that's been haughty, and we'd like to see them brought down – or somebody that's brought us down in the past – and now they're getting their comeuppance.
So if it's bad news about them, we remember to be serious and sober about it and shake our heads and say, 'Oh, how sad!' When maybe we're thinking,'How glad I am they finally got exposed for what they did.'
Man, that's ugly. Do you know how ugly that is?
Now, what do you think the heart of God feels like when we have that kind of attitude?
How does God feel?
And how do YOU feel when somebody's talking about YOU?
When they're acting that way about you – saying something about you – how does that make you feel?
Sin is whispering
"All that hate me whisper together against me:"[/color] David said, [color=purple]"against me do they devise my hurt."
"A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends."
A lot of times people are lonely and insecure and feel like they're not liked. So they will pick out a person that they want to be their friend and they will tell every dirty thing they know about their friends, so that it just leaves the two of them together to buddy up.
They will tear down the other friends of this individual so that 'I will be the only one they like and trust.'
I want to tell you that works in the reverse. That only works with fourteen year old girls. You know fourteen year old girls that do that. And they'll draw together, and they'll form their clique. And they will run everybody else down, but it won't last long.
Relationships built on that kind of whispering never last, because somebody who becomes a whisperer will one day whisper about you too. And you'll get tired of it, and they will no longer be your friend.
"...even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, . . ." so forth
II Corinthians 12:20
"For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, [b]whisperings,[/b] swellings, [and] tumults"
Paul— coming to the church at Corinth – said I'm ... 'I fear that when I come to you, I will find you engaged in whispering.' There was a sin taking place there in the church. And he said, 'Rather than dealing with the sin, you are puffed up, don't mourn, and you're in danger of just whispering about it.'
Watch out for somebody just whispering sin to you. When somebody starts whispering someone else's sin to you, just start right there and say,'Now wait a minute. Hold up. Why are you telling me this?'[/i] Or, [i]'I don't want to hear it.' Or say, 'It's none of my concern.' Or just say, 'Okay, let's pray right now for the person. You lead off.' *laughs*
That's real difficult, you know?
You got it all up in your heart. You got this evil up there. You got this malice toward them and you start whispering. Somebody says, 'Okay, let's pray. YOU lead off.'
Boy, that's a kick in the face.
Believers response to teaching on sin.
You know when you hear these things mentioned, it's not like you say, 'Okay, I've got to remember that and not do that.' That's not the way God works. And that's not the way this will work in you.
What happens is when you hear teaching like this and it exposes sin in your own heart, there's an automatic cleansing process and purging that takes place. If you're a Christian and your heart's honest, then a repentance occurs at the very idea of hearing it. It's so embarrassing, SO humiliating, so disgusting to see ourselves suddenly that we just – you'll repent the moment you hear it. You'll say, 'Boy, I did that. I'm sorry for that. God I don't want to do that anymore.'
And you don't have to formally do that, but in your heart that takes place and with that there's a shaking loose of that sin in your own life.
So the next time the opportunity or the situation arises where that sin would pop up, you laugh at it then. You laugh at yourself. You look at it and you'll say, 'No. No way. Not THIS time.' And you do, you make a conscious effort that 'I'll not speak’ or ’I'll not listen' or 'I reject that thought.' And you're purged of it. You're delivered of it.
It's not like you've got to go out and try, 'Boy, I'd really like to say something bad about that person, but I'm just going to hold my tongue.' It's not that way.
When God really gets to the root of the sin in your heart, the source of it, then you don't have the desire to talk about that person any more. You don't have the need to tear them down to build yourself up. You don't have the need to be recognized and honored and praised. You don't have the need to try to appear humble any more.
You're just content to let God sift it all out in the end,
An inferior attitude is not true humility.
28th sin is taking an inferior attitude towards those of wealth and position.
Now, this is a reversal. This is not about pride and self-exaltation. This is about thinking of yourself in a mousy way – being humble about yourself. Feeling inadequate in the presence of people of more skill, more education, better looking, in a higher circle than you.
This is about putting your head down and being quiet and kind of getting in a corner because you don't feel adequate in this crowd.
That's sin too.
See? When you know you're God's creature, and you don't judge other people by those outward measures, you're not going to let them judge you by those measures either. It's only when in your own heart, you think there's some great virtue in education, wealth, being able to speak correctly, being dressed correctly, uh . . . knowing the right people, and so forth.
When you think that that really is to be admired then you'll be ashamed and embarrassed when you can't exhibit that in the presence of those that that are capable and able. But when you . . . When you realize that that's not the measure of a person – that people are measured by their heart, by who they are, by the light that's in their eyes, by the lilt that's in their voice . . . When you realize that and you’re in the presence of people that normally others would be awed by, you can be totally relaxed – neither condemning, judging, faultfinding, nor feeling inferior in any way.
Just totally relaxed.
Now, I have seen so many people that have that retiring presence when in the presence of people they think are so much more than they are. And they would NEVER think that is sin. They'd think that was humility, but it is sin.
Come out of your shell. Come out of your hiding.
When you walk with the Lord and you walk in joy and you walk in peace, a filthy rich person – you know, BILLIONS – can sit in your presence and you won't feel any different than you do sitting in front of a pot smoking farmer down here in Perry County.
You won't. You won't feel inferior...