Is It Lovely?

“I’m 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 injured.

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 away.


Jesus 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.


We 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.


When 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.

"The 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).


When 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 repentance. 

“He 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).

There is no greater ministry than that of restoration.

“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise” (Proverbs 11:30).


We may 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 4:8).


What 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 true

It is honest

It is just

It is pure

It is lovely

It is of good report

It has virtue

It is praise-worthy


It has to be more than “true.”  It must have all the attributes that Paul listed to be worthy.


If it fails the test, we need to pray this prayer:  “Lord, keep Your arm around my shoulder, and Your hand  over my mouth!”

May we always walk in "loveliness" as our lovely Lord!




Music--"What A Lovely Name"

(Charles Wycuff)

There's a name above all others,

Wonderful to hear, bringing hope and cheer.

It's the lovely name of Jesus,

Evermore the same, What a lovely name.


Oh what a lovely name, the name of Jesus.

Reaching higher far, than the brightest star.

Sweeter than the songs they sing in Heaven.

Let the world proclaim, what a lovely name.

Thru His name there's wondrous power,

Power to redeem, making sinners clean.

By His pow'r He cleansed the leper,

Opened blinded eyes, caused the dead to rise

He’ll return in clouds of glory,

Saints of every race, shall behold His face.

With Him enter Heaven’s city,

Ever to acclaim, what a lovely name





Music :  David's Southern Gospel Midi Tracks

@ There's Good News August 2011

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