Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Dousing Out Gossip

Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded,  in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.– Titus 2:6-8

We’re often confronted with people who would rather spread gossip than get the truth.  They would rather give something to tingle someone else’s ear than to say nothing at all.  Paul addresses Titus 2:6-8 to young men, but his words are good for any gender or age that wants to stop a gossiper.  He says to be:

Sober-minded:  In Greek, sōphroneō, which means sound minded, self-control, moderation in all things, curbing any passions that would rule over you.

A Pattern of good works: Pattern in Greek is typos, which means to be that which can be conformed to in order to make something, an example to be imitated.

In doctrine, showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility: Doctrine is the Greek didaskalia, meaning teaching and instruction.  Incorruptibility (uncorruptness) is adiaphthoria, which means soundness, integrity, truth. Reverence is semnotēs, meaning entitled to respect and dignity, honor and purity.  In what you teach, either by speaking or your actions, give the pure truth and someone that can be relied on for the whole truth

Sound speech:  Hygiēs logos, teaching or speaking that does not deviate from the truth. Be honest, completely honest, in all things.

In short, Paul says to have self-control, don’t lie or speak things as truth that you don’t know and understand, and have the characters that others can imitate as a pattern of goodness. 

Don’t add fuel to the enemy’s fire.  Instead, let your character be like a bucket of water, dousing out anything evil they would have to say about you.  People are going to talk, and liars are going to lie.  But your character determines what they are willing to believe.

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