just telling it ‘like it is.’ “ These are
familiar words that excuse and try to explain
hurtful comments uttered by the gossip bearer.
Words can be stones cast, and they cut deeply
leaving scars that may never go away. Jesus said
only those without sin (faults) were eligible to
cast stones. He certainly was eligible, but He
chose words and actions that healed rather than
We are bombarded daily with images,
words and actions that intend to influence how we
think and act; to program us to think in a certain
way. We have to be on guard lest we come under
the influence of stone-throwers and chronic
critics. I remember Mother’s admonition: If a
dog brings you a bone, it will be apt to carry one
looked at the stones in the hands of the accusers
of the woman who was “caught in the very act of
adultery,” stooped and wrote on the ground
(??their names, dates of their participation??),
and then He stood and proclaimed, “He that is
without sin among you, let him first cast a stone
at her” (John 8:7). Of course they all slinked
away in shame.
know that Jesus did not condone the woman’s
actions which appeared to have been her lifestyle,
but He saw her as one He would be willing to die
to redeem. With compassion, He turned to the
woman who now had no one to condemn her and said,
“Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more”
(John 8:11). It is to be hoped that the accusers
were still in hearing range of Jesus’ words and
corrected their own lives.
we are in “failure zone,” we need someone with
love and compassion to give us words of
encouragement, someone who sees us through the
eyes of a loving Savior.
Lord upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all
those that be bowed down" (Psalm 145:14)
When we are “strong in
the Lord,” we may feel that we would never, ever
fall so far that we would need to be rescued.
Paul must have encountered folks like that in
Corinth; he wrote these words to them: “Wherefore
let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest
he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12).
we fail, it is not condemnation that we need to
hear; it is words of restoration motivated by love
that will break our hearts over sin and bring
that covereth [in a loving, restorative way] a
transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth
a matter [maliciously in gossip] separateth very
friends” (Proverbs 17:9).
is no greater ministry than that of restoration.
fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he
that winneth souls is wise” (Proverbs 11:30).
know something and we may repeat it, and it may be
true—but is it lovely? Will it restore or
destroy? Will it bring peace or conflict? Gossip
is a snare to the teller and the hearer.
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true,
whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things
are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever
things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good
report; if there be any virtue, and if there be
any praise, think on these things” (Philippians
we “think on” is what we speak of and eventually
act upon. So the criterion and litmus test to determine what
we think upon, act upon or repeat is clear:
It is lovely
of good report
to be more than “true.” It must have all the
attributes that Paul listed to be worthy.
fails the test, we need to pray this prayer: “Lord, keep
Your arm around my shoulder, and Your hand
over my mouth!”
always walk in "loveliness" as our lovely Lord!
Music--"What A Lovely Name"
There's a name above all others,
Wonderful to hear, bringing hope and cheer.
the lovely name of Jesus,
Evermore the same, What a lovely name.
what a lovely name, the name of Jesus.
Reaching higher far, than the brightest star.
Sweeter than the songs they sing in Heaven.
the world proclaim, what a lovely name.
His name there's wondrous power,
to redeem, making sinners clean.
pow'r He cleansed the leper,
blinded eyes, caused the dead to rise
He’ll return in clouds of glory,
Saints of every race, shall behold His
With Him enter Heaven’s city,
Ever to acclaim, what a lovely name