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"Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets."
It is interesting how, in spite of all the warnings in Scripture against gossip, slander, and tale bearing, just how much stock we tend to place in people's opinions. It is said that where there is smoke there is fire. However, the smoke may be no more than dust and hot air.
As Mark Twain observed: "A lie can travel halfway across the world while truth is still getting its boots on!"
The great Baptist preacher, C.H. Spurgeon, warned: "Believe not half you hear; repeat not half you believe. When you hear an evil report, halve it, then quarter it, and say nothing about the rest of it."
The great Reformer, John Calvin, declared: "No greater injury can be inflicted upon men than to ruin their reputation."
Thomas Brooks taught: "Of all the members in the body, there is none so serviceable to Satan as the tongue."
"The tongue is also a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire and is itself set on fire by hell."
All of us, at one time, or another, have been guilty of gossip. Yet, it is sin. God takes gossip seriously. The Ninth Commandment is there for a very good reason.
The Bible says that:
"Whoever spreads slander is a fool…"
We are commanded:
" Brothers, do not slander one another"
Pastors are to
" remind the people …to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility towards all men."