Thursday, 26 March 2020

Proverbs 26.20-22

Without wood a fire goes out;
     without gossip, a quarrel died down.
As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire,
     so is a quarrelsome person for kindling strife.        
The words of a gossip are like choice
     morsels; they go down to the innermost parts.

It is no more a rumour. It is a fact, lockdown is extended till 14 April. The Coronavirus is still posing a danger to all of us. Let’s be good and obedient citizens. Stay home and stay safe! My! what are we going to do with all the time we have. Many are on our handphone. YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, computer games the list goes on with the more IT savvy folks.  Let’s be on our guard on the media. Watch out for fake news and don’t forward it.

We are going to look at Proverbs 26.20-22; These three verses talk about something that spreads fast and can be very destructive to individuals, families and communities. In fact it had been around for ages. We are immune to it. But It is very much alive in our political arena, corporate bodies, churches and even in our homes.

The wise man brings to our attention the destructiveness of “gossip”. Basically, gossip is sharing negative information about someone with the intention to tarnish his reputation or to impress the hearers. God hates gossips, (Pro. 6.12-19: Psa. 15.3). Gossips cause great pain and suffering deep inside our heart and it divides family and friends. Gossip ignites the fire of strife and contention. Charles Spurgeon said, “Contention is as fire; it heats the spirit, burns up all that is good and puts families and societies into a flame.”

All of us have skeletons in our closet. Every man or woman has secrets – private and confidential matters – such as sins, faults, failures, sicknesses, divorce, criminal records, salary, age and many more. They are private and confidential. They are secrets. No one needs to know. Often people gossip about the secret of another person out of envy, hatred or malice. Have you ever wonder why people gossip? Satan sows the seed of pride in our heart. When we gossip we put others down and jack ourselves up at the expense of another. It comes from hatred and envy as in the case of Abel and Cain because Abel was a much better person. Gossip hurts both ways, the gossip as well as the one who listens to the gossips. The gossip is a troublemaker. The one who listens to gossip is like eating junk food, do you want junk like that in your “belly” your heart and soul. (Pro. 26.22)
“Quarrelsome or troublemaker” is a person who adds “wood to fire” or “coals to hot Amber” or “Kerosene to fire”. What graphic picture! It describes a person who stirs things up. People like this starts arguments, conflicts, debates and quarrels with everyone wherever he goes.

Am I a peacemaker or a troublemaker? Are you constantly looking for faults or having a critical or judgemental attitude.  As children of God, we are called to be peacemakers. We are admonished to use all our spiritual power to live at peace with all men. (Matt. 5.9: Rom. 12.18; Eph. 4.3;
1 These 5.13; James 3.17-18). May we bear fruit of Holy Spirit which is love, joy and peace (Gal.5.22). Those who abide in Jesus and are walking in the light we detest the contentious spirit in ourselves and others.

Prayer for today

Lord, Jesus, we come before you to examine our selves. Take away this quarrelsome and contentious spirit from us, from our home in our church. O Prince of Peace, we invite you to come and clean us up and fill us with your love, joy and peace.

Lord, help us to avoid and reject gossips. Teach us to protect the reputation of others with love. Grant us the ability to protect and build others up. Help us to appreciate, and praise others.

Lord, protect and preserve our country from troublemakers. Grant wisdom to our leaders that they be an example of peacemakers. That we are able to enjoy unity in diversity and live in peace and harmony.

Lord, transform us to be a caring and loving people to glorify your name. O Lord, we are living in troubled times. The whole world is enveloped by this deadly Corona Virus. many have died, many are dying and we are fearful of being infected by it. We hope in you. You are our refuge and strength. Deliverance comes from you.

We continue to lift up our dear brother James to you, deliver him from the jaws of death. Have mercy upon him, O Lord our saviour. We pray for his wife Joy and their children Jade and Jo Han. Protect them and heal all of them. We lift up to you all the front line workers and their families. May your grace be sufficient for them each day.

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10

Lord, we take comfort and courage from your promise. Give us the faith to walk with you today. In Jesus name. Amen.

Pastor Isaac