Section 2: Practical Wisdom, Article 12

Harmful Words: Lying,
Complaining, Slander, and Gossip

“Be not rash with thy mouth,
and let not thine heart be hasty to
utter any thing before Elohim:
for Elohim is in heaven, and thou upon earth:
therefore let thy words be few.”
Ecclesiastes 5:2.

s I watched Mrs. Grey enter her cabin, I thought again of the words I had overhead another teacher’s wife say the afternoon before: “In all the years I have known Mrs. Grey, I have never heard her speak one unkind word or give one ill report about anyone, not ever.” The summer Marine Biology program
involved a small staff of six instructors and their families. All of us, teachers and student alike, were living in rustic cabins just a few feet from the Pacific waters of Puget Sound. In such a small community we all became quite well-acquainted with every detail of each other’s lives fairly quickly. Somehow Mrs. Grey, while always open and friendly, maintained an amazing distance from every circulating discussion of everyone else’s affairs. As the summer progressed, I had reason to admire her more and more. Her silence and kindness provided a safety we all needed in this tight communal living.
        It is
Yehuveh’s purpose that we all enjoy such mutual safety in every social setting and family gathering. To provide this haven, He has placed valuable boundaries on our conversations and comments. It goes without saying that we are not to lie to one another, and never to slander or gossip about one another. But our safety depends on far more than these consideration in our speaking. We are to committedly hold confidences and protect each others reputations; as faithful friends, we are to correct errors; and when appropriate, we are to simply keep quiet. Likewise, we are not to complain, repine, and whine--for no one enjoys listening to such self-focus. This even includes the occasional fret and fuss! Neither are we to grieve and mourn extendedly. Grieving our losses is necessary to healing, but belaboring this grief for long periods benefits no one and destroys human patience with one another.
        Without overstressing each point of focus, these are Yehuveh’s counsels regarding both His words and ours.

Counsels and Cautions about Words
        Scriptures provide extensive insight into dealing with all kinds of words: Yehuveh’s words,
the words of His prophets, our own words, and the words of others. When we heed these counsels and cautions, we can expect to continuously enjoy all the greatest of Yehuveh’s blessings.
Regarding Yehuveh’s words, we are told: “The words of Yehuveh are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” Is it any wonder then that Yehuveh appeals: “Let thine heart retain My words: keep My commandments, and live.” With these counsels we have opportunity to become all that we can be: Yehuveh Elohim hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: He wakeneth morning by morning, He wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.” “Then should I yet have comfort; . . . for I have not concealed the words of the Holy One.” Psalms 12:6 [also Psalms 18:30; 19:8; 119:140; 2 Samuel 22:31; Proverbs 30:5]; Proverbs 4:4; Isaiah 50:4; Job 6:10.

Gael Bataman         
Originally Written:      1 February 2010
Latest Update:            3 February 2010

Complete Study Guide to Article 12   

Prophet's Words        Honesty versus Lying        Complaining, Fussing, Grumbling, Repining       
Slander, Backbiting, and Misrepresentation        Tale-bearing and Gossip       
Holding Confidence        Appropriate Grieving and Lamenting        All Things Negative!       
What’s Left? Praise and Thanksgiving!       

Return to Zadok Home                Continue Article 12 . . .                  Go to Section 2: Practical
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