Scripture: Luke 12:1-3 “In the meantime, when so many thousands of the people had gathered together that they were trampling one another, he began to say to his disciples first, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 3 Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.”
Observations: In Genesis today we read of the deceitfulness of Laban when he gave Jacob the wrong daughter in payment for his wages, and then after making an agreement about what type of sheep Jacob could keep, he removed all of them from his care. Even family can cause us pain. Luke has very long and diverse chapters. We are told not to fear people here on earth that can harm our body, but to fear God. I, of course, am drawn to the topics of being ready for end times, and knowing the current times, because I am fascinated by prophecy. However, today’s Scripture is what tugs on my heart.
Application. Hypocrisy is probably the #1 excuse people use for not going to church. They will tell you that churches are full of hypocrites. We need to be careful though before throwing that stone, because maybe we are looking at ourselves? If I am calling someone a hypocrite without really knowing them, it is slander. Slander and gossip are both frowned upon in Scripture. I looked up the difference on the internet: “slander is a false or unsupported, malicious statement (spoken or published), especially one which is injurious to a person's reputation; the making of such a statement while gossip is someone who likes to talk about someone else's private or personal business. Leviticus 19:16: “You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the life of your neighbor: I am the Lord.” In Matthew 15:18-19 Jesus said: “18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.” Proverbs 16:28 reads: “A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.” When I first became a Christian, gossip was the worst of my downfalls. I grew up with gossip, and it was forever getting me in trouble. At some point I learned to keep my mouth shut, but it still becomes a trap at times, especially when I get with the old gang. Sometimes we gossip in the name of prayer requests. It is a fine line… What is it you think is just between friends? Chances are it is not. Practically everything said in ‘secret’ eventually gets out and we really shouldn’t be saying in ‘secret’ what we don’t want to get out!
Prayer: Lord, this is an area of downfall for me, and I agree with James when he says a tongue can start a great fire. Lord, I want my tongue to be used to praise you, not to sin against you. Keep me from the temptation to gossip or slander. Shut up my mouth when others try to lead me in that direction. Lord, let me recall what Paul suggest in Philippians and to speak only what is pure, lovely, commendable and just. Let me speak uplifting, edifying words at all times. Let your love flow off my tongue, not condemnation. Amen
Tomorrow's reading: Genesis 31-33; Luke 13