The Devil’s Radio

“Gossip is the devil’s radio.”     ~George Harrison

I am continuing my study of “God’s Beautiful Design for Women, Living Out Titus 2:1-5” by Nancy DeMoss Wogelmuth at Revive Our Hearts.

What is gossip?

Gossip is sharing things about others that should not be shared.  Society has a false sense of what gossip is.  It is often believed if something is true it isn’t gossip.  Christians should be very careful not to share gossip, or even listen to it.  There are more than 25 verses in God’s Word about gossip, and NONE of those encourage gossip. (https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Gossip)

Before my husband was my “boyfriend” we were spending time long distance,  getting to know each other.  One evening, we were talking on the phone.  I was sharing an incident that happened to someone during the day.  This would be someone he would in no way know, but he stopped me mid-story and asked me, “Do I need to know this?  I am not part of the problem or part of the solution, so I don’t need to know this.  This is gossip.”  Over the next few days, I spent much time in prayer and realized most of my conversations with others were not meaningful conversation at all, but gossip.

In the study today, this was shared:

Before you say something, ask yourself this question: Is the person you’re telling a part of the problem or a part of the solution?’ If they’re not a part of the problem, and they’re not a part of the solution, then probably it’s something you should not be saying.”

When it comes to gossip, do we have hearts of kindness and tenderness? Are we forgiving an gracious?  Are we intentional to build up?  Or is it easier for us to “Share the news” and tear down and divide?

As Christian women, “we need to put on a heart and words of kindness and love and forgiveness and gracenot just put off the slander, but replace the slander with a heart of kindness and goodness and grace and love. “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you” (Eph. 4:32). Be intentional about speaking words that edify, that build up, that put other people in a positive light.

How often do we find ourselves going in to work or spending time with a friend and go in asking, “What do you know?” or “Did you hear?” and then, if the friend did hear, our ears perk up to hear more than we knew.

We need to be careful about having this unholy curiosity, a desire to know things about other people. Bring those thoughts captive, rein them in.”

Psalm 19, “let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart [not just what I say, but what I think, Lord] be acceptable in Your sight, Oh Lord, my rock and my redeemer” (v. 14). Bring your thought life under the control of the Spirit.”

Everyone who knows me, knows I never meet a stranger.  I am a “story teller” and I love to share stories of all the many things that have happened in my life and the experiences I have had.  I like to talk!!  It is a hobby of mine!  What God has shown me so many times is talking too much gets me on the devil’s phone.  I have an audience, I often have people laughing, and while my life experiences are rich enough I don’t have to exaggerate them, I will frequently share too much information that involves others.  As a godly woman I need to know when to hang up and talk less.

 “Very simple. Proverbs chapter 10,

When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable [when there are many words—did you get that?—transgression is unavoidable. You will sin if you talk too much. I will sin, I do sin when I talk too much.] But he who restrains his lips is prudent (v. 19, NASB).James 1, “Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to get angry” (v. 19, emphasis added).”
Say less, and you have less chance of sinning. The more time you spend on the phone, the more time you spend in conversation with others, the more careful you have to be, especially if you tend to be a talkative person, or if the person you’re talking to tends to be a talkative person. Learn to restrain your lips, to keep confidences, not to repeat things that you don’t have the freedom to repeat, and if you’re not sure—don’t say it. Don’t ask unnecessary questions.

We should think before we speak.

Ask yourself these kinds of questions:

  • Is it true?

Do I know for a fact that it’s true? That’s especially important. When you’re hearing about a conflict and you’re only hearing one side, remember that you’re only hearing one side. “He who answers a matter before he hears it, it’s a folly and a shame to him” (Prov. 18:13). You do not know all the facts if you’re only hearing one person describe the situation.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a husband describe what the frustration is about his marriage, and then I’ve heard the wife describe her frustrations about their marriage, and I think, These are two different marriages—two totally different perspectives. If you’re only listening to one side, you don’t know what you’re hearing is true, so don’t assume that it’s the whole picture.

  • Is it true?
  • Is it kind?
  • Will it build up, will it edify the person of whom I’m speaking?
  • Is it necessary?
  • Does the person I’m talking to need to know this?
  • If this were about me, would I want it shared with someone else?

Here’s one that would just cut out a lot of what we say:

  • Would I mind if the person I’m talking about were standing right here? Would I be willing to say it to their face?

Oh, that’s why the Psalmist prayed, “Set a guard, Oh Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips! (141:3). Think before you speak.

After realizing how much of my conversations with friends was gossip, one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do was tell my friends I couldn’t gossip with them anymore.  It hurt feelings, mine and theirs.  I continued to pray about it and found peace in knowing I had done what I needed to do, and in the end, pleasing God has to be my goal, more than pleasing my friends.  Do I fail?  OH, I fail miserably at times, but my focus, my goal, my desire, is to be pleasing to God.

So what if we don’t share the gossip, but just sit there while others are sharing with us? Have you ever been daring enough to find something positive to share about the person being gossiped about?

Refuse to listen to slander or gossip about others. Refuse to listen to it. Not only to spread it, but to listen to it.

First Samuel 24, verse 9, David said to Saul, who was out to destroy him, “Why do you listen to the words of men who say ‘Behold, David seeks your harm.’?” Why do you listen to that? Saul listened to people who said that. He believed what he heard, and as a result, he set out to destroy David. Don’t listen to it. Steer the conversation to another topic, or turn it to build up the person who’s being talked about.

I think, especially for women, gossip is one of the hardest sins to steer away from, one of the hardest habits to break, and often, we don’t even realize we have participated.

Now we need to let God take this matter home to our hearts and convict us and change us where needed. We talked about the word for slander being diabolos. It’s a word that is a name for Satan—Satan who accuses us before the Father, condemns us, lies about us. He accuses us.

But on the other hand we have one who advocates for us. “We have an advocate with the Father if anyone sins, Jesus Christ the Righteous” (1 John 2:1). You see, Jesus, like Satan, knows that we have sinned, yet He defends us before the Throne of God. He pleads our case before God on the basis of His sacrificial death on the cross for our sins.

So as you speak about other believers, are you accusing them as the devil does? Or are you advocating for them as Jesus does for you? Are you being like Jesus? Or are you being like Satan?

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 (Eph. 4:29).
Words can also be used to encourage, to strengthen, to build up others, so use your tongue for that purpose. Think about all the grace you have received from God and from others, and then use your tongue to minister grace to others as you have received it.

Oh God, continue to show me my sin, especially in this area.  Change my heart to recognize sin.  Guard my tongue from spreading sin.  Help me to not be an accuser, but an encourager.  Help me to show grace and truth in every conversation.  I pray in the Name of Jesus, Amen.

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Posted in Bible, Christian Submission, Counter Cultural, Desiring God, Genuine Faith, Godly Obedience, Gossip, Looking Worldly, Ministry, Slander, Uncategorized, Women's Ministry | Leave a comment

Will The JUDGE Find You Guilty of Slander?

Titus 2:3
Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not SLANDERERS or slaves to much wine.

 

I am going through the Revive Our Hearts Podcast from last year (Feb. 2017) titled, “God’s Beautiful Design For Women.  This evening, I was on day 9 of this study, based in Titus 2, and was an introductory study of Nancy DeMoss Wogelmuth’s book titled, Adorned.

In this particular portion, Nancy focused on slander.  Slander is being a malicious gossip, or a false accuser.  Nancy points out that the Greek word for “slander” is “diabolos” which is the basis for our English word, diabolical.  Diabolos  is used thirty-eight times in the New Testament.  Thirty-four of those times, the word refers to the devil.  three times, it is used for the word slander.   You can see an example of this in 1 Timothy 3:6-11.  In verses 6 & 7 of this passage it is used to refer to the devil.  In verse 11, it is used for slander.  Also notice, each time this word is used for slander, it is giving instruction to women.  Does that say something about our character as women?  As Nancy put it, “as women, this is an issue that we are more prone to be tempted in and one where we’re more inclined to sin with our tongues.”

These were some highlights from today’s lesson that I thought were important.

I remember reading that [A.W.] Tozer said that the curse of the twentieth century (his day) was because we think we know something, therefore, we have it, when sometimes nothing can be further from the truth.

“We have a lot of people in a lot of our churches who do know sound doctrine, but they don’t live in a way that accords with sound doctrine. If you have a loose tongue, then there is something wrong with your doctrine or your application of doctrine to life. If you are not temperate in your lifestyle, then there is something wrong with your application of doctrine to life.

“Paul says that these are the things that accord with sound doctrine. This is fitting for sound doctrine. This is the overflow, the outflow of sound doctrine in a woman’s life. This is was reverent behavior looks like. Reverence for God affects the way that we talk and the way that we walk. Sound doctrine will always result in a certain kind of speech and a certain kind of behavior in our lives.”

I have to take a deep look at my life and ask if my actions are in accord with sound doctrine, especially in this area.

“Our words will come back to haunt us. We don’t always reap the harvest immediately. But we will reap the harvest. So God says, “This is something that has to be purged from your midst. It should have no place in the church of Jesus Christ.”

“It’s something we need to examine, we need to evaluate and weigh. We need to say, “Is there slander? Is there malicious gossip? Are there even truthful things being said with the intent to harm, behind others’ backs, to other people, bringing other people into the conversation who aren’t part of the problem or part of the solution?”

We’re saying things about others that are not productive. They’re not true. They’re not edifying. They’re not building up. They’re tearing down.

God says don’t do it. Purge out the evil from your midst. And when others see consequences, they will fear, and they will “never again commit any such evil.”

The community of faith, the body of Christ, is supposed to be a place that’s safe for sinners who are in the process of being redeemed. But when we maliciously or carelessly or thoughtlessly speak words that tear down, that defame, that are deceptive or untrue or harmful in intent, we’re undoing the work God’s Spirit is trying to do in His people.”

What about those times someone tells us something and we share it, not to intently harm someone, but we still share it with others, or even listen to it??

“So when Paul says that older women are to be reverent in behavior and not slanderers, that means that they are to refuse to listen to or to spread reports or stories about others that are false (they’re not true) or they’re harmful—they could be injurious to that person..

“Slander is a serious matter to God. It’s one of the Ten Commandments. Exodus 20:16 says, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”

Exodus 23:1 tells us, “You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a malicious witness.” Don’t do it. Don’t go there.

Proverbs 6:16 says, “There are six things that the Lord hates; seven that are an abomination to him,” and then in verse 19, right in that list is “a false witness who breathes out lies.” It’s an abomination to God.

“By the way, in that same list is a person who spreads discord among brethren. Those two often go hand in hand—spreading discord, and being a false witness who breathes out lies.

“People who slander others often do it with the intent to divide. But even if that’s not their intent, that’s the effect. They end up sowing discord, dividing, creating wedges and barriers between people by using their tongues to slander.

Ephesians 4:31 says, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander [evil speaking] be put away from you, along with all malice.” Paul says, “Get rid of it.”

As Christian women, we should be able to say to our friends and acquaintances, “I don’t need to hear this.”  I do want to warn you, when you are convicted to do this and your friends have not been, it will put a chasm between you and them.  I have experienced this very thing.  It was very painful to me, that ladies I had come to love, who were Christian ladies, quit conversing with me when I told them I wouldn’t listen to gossip.  It was a sad realization that most of our conversations were based on sharing news about others, whether good or bad, and there was nothing else to converse about.

There is no acceptable degree of malice or slander or evil speaking for Christian women. This is something that in our own lives we need to have zero tolerance about.

Sometimes I think we’re just careless. But it’s an area where we can’t afford to be careless, because when we speak slander, we’re doing the work of the devil.

It wrecks marriages. It wrecks children. It wrecks workplaces. It wrecks churches. It wrecks relationships. It wrecks us. It wrecks our relationship with the Lord to be a slanderer.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Prov. 18:21). We can build up with our tongues. We can encourage people in that process of sanctification, or we can say words that destroy and tear down.

Paul’s instruction in Titus 2 has huge ramifications in a time when slander and false accusations can spread like wildfire with a simple click on our laptop or our phone. As we tweet and text and post and “like” and “share,” we need to make sure we’re not spreading slander—especially in such a contentious environment when it seems people are dividing into warring camps about so many things. As followers of Christ, we ought to be hugely counter-cultural in this area and in every area. 

Is this an area you need to focus on with confession and repentance?  Is this an area you COULD be guilty of and you are making excuses that your gossip isn’t gossip because it is true?  Are you part of the solution or part of the problem in the information you are “sharing”?  If you are not part of that information, then it is gossip. This is the prayer that Nancy shared and I made it a personal prayer.  I hope you can use this prayer for your own situation.

“Lord, I pray that You would show me my root issues and my heart that would produce this hideous, diabolical fruit of slander, and that You would help me not just to deal with the surface issues but to put the axe to the root of what might be in my heart that might cause the slander.

“Over these next couple of days, would You be speaking to me and convicting me and reminding me as I go from this place and my conversations? I pray, Lord, that You would fill my mouth with words that are edifying and profitable and worthwhile and beneficial, words that will encourage and strengthen and give life to those about whom I’m speaking.

“Thank You, Lord. May I be a reverent woman who honors You and glorifies You with my tongue. I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.”

 

Posted in Bible, Christian Submission, Counter Cultural, Desiring God, Genuine Faith, Godly Obedience, Gossip, Looking Worldly, Ministry, Slander, Titus 2 Woman, Uncategorized, Women's Ministry | Leave a comment

TexMex Beef Noodles

I’m always on the lookout for quick and simple recipes that don’t break the budget. This TexMex beef noodle, one pot dinner fits the bill. This recipe can be quite versatile by changing the type of salsa or cheese that you use.

This recipe is an adoption from the Gooseberry Patch Cookbook, “5 Ingredients Or Less,” and the original is called Beef & Noodle Skillet. The original recipe can be found here.

The recipe sounded quick and easy, but I saw a change for our family right away. We prefer to have our ground beef cooked before boiling. Next, it is two days before grocery day and I didn’t have elbow macaroni, so I used egg noodles. The salsa I had on hand was one of my favorites, Kroger Thick and Chunky Mild, and the cheese I used was Aldi’s Clancy’s Processed Cheese Spread.

And for the recipe:

1 pound ground beef

8 oz egg noodles

1 1/2 cup beef broth

16 oz. Pastuerized Processed Cheese Spread, cubed (or 16 oz of any cheese of your choice)

16 oz of your favorite salsa

In a 12″ Skillet, brown the beef. Add broth. When the broth comes to a boil, add in the noodles. Reduce heat, Cover and allow the noodles to com until al dente. Add in cheese and salsa. Cover and allow to simmer until cheese is melted. Stir and server.

This is great with a salad.

The whole dinner was done within 30 minutes.

It serves 4-6.

Posted in 30 minute Means, 5 Ingredients Or Less, Cooking tips, dinner, Frugal Recipes, Quick Recipes, recipe critique, TexMex Recepe, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Resurrection Sunday vs. Easter

Have you considered that you have an opportunity to witness to those around you in the very near future? I have already seen many posts on “Easter”. How about honoring Christ and call it for what it is… Resurrection Sunday! There is a difference in the celebration of Easter and the celebration of Resurrection!

Joshua 24:14-15 “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Will you serve the pagan tradition of your ancestors or will you serve the Lord?

For years, I saw that it was “ok” to do both the “easter egg/bunny” thing AND the church thing.. but God has impressed upon me that taking ANY glory from the resurrection of His Son and giving ANY attention to “paganistic” ritual or tradition is wrong.

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28 Days In Acts-Chapter 28

February 2013:

As we come to the final chapter in Acts, we see Paul and the passengers of the ship, ship-wrecked on the island of Malta.  The natives were kind to them and helped warm them with a fire.  Paul gathered sticks and put them on the fire.  Just as he did, a viper came out and bit Paul.  When the natives saw this, they thought he must be someone doomed because of the horrible death that was sure to ensue.  When Paul shook the creature into the fire and no harm came to Paul, they changed their minds and began to say Paul was a god.

A wealthy man of the island, Publius, had a father who was sick with a fever.  Paul went to the man, prayed, laid hands on him, and healed him.  After this, many on the island came to be healed. When Paul and his party were ready to leave, the people of the island supplied all they needed.

I pray we can minister to those Good brings to us, and provide for their needs.

After wintering in Malta for three months and then headed for Rome.  When they entered Rome, Paul was allowed to stay by himself, with a guard.  After three days, Paul called the leaders of the Jews together and he said to them, “Brethren, though I had done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers, yet I was delivered as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. And when they had examined me, they were willing to release me because there was no ground for putting me to death. But when the Jews objected, I was forced to appeal to Caesar, not that I had any accusation against my nation. For this reason, therefore, I requested to see you and to speak with you, for I am wearing this chain for the sake of the hope of Israel.”  How far are you willing to go for people to come to Christ?  Are you willing to bear chains, beatings, prison?  I pray God would give me the strength to endure whatever necessary to see a people brought to Him.

The leaders tell Paul they have received no letters or any bad reports, but they wanted to know about this “sect” being spoken against.  They set up a day for Paul to speak and they came to his place of lodging. He spoke about the Kingdom of God and Jesus.  He used the Scripture of the Old Testament to do so.  He spoke from morning to evening.  Some were persuaded and others were not.  When those in attendance began arguing and leaving, Paul spoke again.  He said, “The Holy Spirit rightly spoke through Isaiah the prophet to your fathers, saying, ‘Go to this people and say, “You will keep on hearing, but will not understand; And you will keep on seeing, but will not perceive; For the heart of this people has become dull, And with their ears they scarcely hear, And they have closed their eyes; Otherwise they might see with their eyes, And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart and return, And I would heal them.”’ Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will also listen.”  The Jews departed in great dispute.  Paul stayed for two years, welcoming all who came to him.  He preached the Kingdom of God and taught concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered.  Does this quote from Isaiah describe our world, our country, our state, our community, even our church, today?  Are we hearing and not understanding?  Are we closing our eyes to the Truth? Is our land not being healed because of this state of sinfulness?  Has God taken the Word to those “far off” because of our stubbornness?  Are we teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered?  I pray we, the CHURCH, will hear and understand, will see with open eyes, will repent from our wickedness and turn to You, our Sovereign Creator.  I pray we will be healed so we can teach, open and unhindered, concerning our Lord Jesus Christ.  I pray we can take the Word to those “far off” for your sake and Glory.  Amen.

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28 Days In Acts- Chapter 27

February 2013:

Paul, as a prisoner, was put on a ship for Italy, along with friends, sailors, centurions, and other prisoners.  The trip became dangerous.  Paul began to admonish the centurion that the voyage would cause damage to the ship and to the lives of those sailing.  The area they were in was not suitable to stay during winter, so they decided to try and make it to a more desirous location to winter.   Even though they tried to travel close to land, a large storm hit and the situation looked bleak.

They had gone some time without food and Paul stood up and basically said, “I told you so,” but also gave them a bit of encouragement.  Beginning in verse 21 Paul says, “Men, you ought to have followed my advice and not to have set sail from Crete and incurred this damage and loss. Yet now I urge you to keep up your courage, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For this very night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood before me, saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar; and behold, God has granted you all those who are sailing with you.’ Therefore, keep up your courage, men, for I believe God that it will turn out exactly as I have been told. But we must run aground on a certain island.”  God sent an angel to encourage Paul and he encouraged those with him.  I pray when God gives me encouragement, I can pass it along to others.  I pray I realize the ministry, even in encouraging others.

Paul not only encouraged them they would survive, but they needed to eat.  Paul blessed the bread and ate.  The others also took food.  This is an instance showing us how often our example to others can influence them.  If we are not following a Godly example, it can encourage them in a negative way.  I pray my encouragement to others will be a Godly example and when it is not, God puts people in place to point it out to me.

The soldiers planned to kill the prisoners who were present on the ship so they would not escape after being ship-wrecked  The centurion wanted to deliver Paul safely and kept them from following through.  There were 276 people on the ship and they were all brought safely to land.  I pray we can remember, no matter the circumstances, God’s plan will always prevail!

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28 Days In Acts- Chapter 26

As chapter 26 opens, Paul was given permission to speak for himself before Agrippa.  Agrippa was well acquainted with Jewish custom, as he controlled the temple treasury.  Paul addressed him by once again recounting his conversion on the road to Damascus.  He then shared with Agrippa that he was following the obedience of the vision by declaring Jesus as Christ, and this very act is the reason the Jews were against him.  In verse 22 Paul again, gives glory to God.  He says, “So, having obtained help from God, I stand to this day testifying both to small and great, stating nothing but what the Prophets and Moses said was going to take place; that the Christ was to suffer, and by reason of His resurrection from the dead He would be the first to proclaim light both to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.”

Festus said loudly, “Paul, you are out of your mind!  Your great learning is driving you mad.”  Paul said he was not out of his mind and King Agrippa even believed the Prophets.  Agrippa told Paul in a short time he would persuade him to become a Christian.   Paul wished not only Agrippa, but all who heard his voice might come to Christ without the chains.  King Agrippa concluded Paul had done nothing worthy or death or imprisonment and had he not appeared to Caesar, he would have been set free.

This was the beginning of God’s promise that Paul would testify about Him in Rome.  Paul proudly and boldly continued to proclaim God’s Word unashamedly.  I pray we can stand on the Truth and declare Christ to all.

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