My homework today was a study on gossip (false reports) and how Satan uses the power of our words against us.. I found it interesting so I thought I would share it..
Before you speak ask yourself..
1. Will what I am about to say bring glory to God?
2. Is it the truth?
3. Is it fair to all concerned?
4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
5. Will it edify others?
6. If you are talking about another person, have you said the same thing to him or her? (please note, I said have you, not would you).
7. Do you know that what you are saying is a fact or have you arrived at your own conclusions after hearing rumors?
8. If you have something against your brother or sister, have you attempted to be reconciled to them before discussing it with others?
9. Is it absolutely necessary that you say this?
If you answered no to any of these, your path is simple.. Don't speak at all..
"Thou shalt not raise a false report" (Exodus 23:1). The word "raise" in this verse means
receive or utter. We are not to listen to or spread false reports. Philippians 4:8 indicates
we are to think on only good reports.
But how do we recognize if someone is bringing us a false report?
A false report will:
• Raise questions about the motives or actions of other brothers and sisters in the
• Discredit spiritual leadership.
• Cause division and strife. When we are busy fighting between ourselves, we
cannot aggressively fight the true enemy, Satan.
• Always focus on the negative.
A false report arises from motives of:
• Pride: To exalt themselves, a person puts down someone else.
• Envy and covetousness: A person secretly desires what others have so he/she criticizes
• Guilt: A person transfers his guilt to others. He feels guilty about his own sins and
failures so point out those of others.
• Rebellion: The rebellious spirit targets leadership. "If I were the leader I would....."
• Bitterness: A person has been hurt, so they hurt others with their words.
How to recognize a false report:
• The person may test you first. They may ask "How do you feel
about__________?" They are testing your feelings before proceeding with the
• The person will create curiosity. They may say "You won't believe what I heard
about_____"or "Did you hear the latest about_______". They are trying to
motivate your curiosity to ask what they know.
• They will claim to know the true story or have access to secret, inside
information. This appeals to your pride. You want to become part of this select
group with such knowledge.
• They may disguise it as a request for counsel. "I need your opinion on a
matter....", and then proceed to share a false report under the guise of seeking
• A false report can even be shared through a prayer request. "We really need to
pray for ________because_____" and they proceed to share what is actually
gossip about the individual.
• A false report is often shared under the guise of concern. The person begins by
saying "I am deeply concerned about ________". This serves as an introduction to the false report which follows.
How to stop a false report:
Ask the person bringing you the report the following questions:
• "Why are you telling ME this?"
• "Where did you get this information?" (A person giving the false report usually will
not want to tell you their source.)
• "Have you gone to the person you are talking about according to the principles of
“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
• "Have you checked the facts, or are you just repeating the story?"
• "Can I quote you when I check out the facts on this?"
• "Do you think this qualifies as that which we are to focus on according to
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Or you may just simply say...
• "I really do not want to hear this."