I meet with a guy from Journey each week for discipleship. I absolutely love my time with this guy. He’s a humble man of God who just devours God’s Word and is always hungry for more.
Currently, we’re reading through Acts.
This morning, we read Acts 14 and a phrase jumped out at me. “But the Jews who refused to believe stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers.” Acts 14:2
Our minds can be poisoned by many things. Let me list a few.
1. Self–When we think too highly of ourselves we also tend to think too lowly of others. Pride poisons our minds and keeps us from seeing people accurately. When pride has poisoned our minds we see ourselves as always right and others as always wrong, we see ourselves as the victim and others as the predator, and we see our desires as more important than the needs of others.
2. Sin–Dirt clouds our minds’ eye and keeps us from seeing things purely. Like a toxin injected into our mind, sin is a poison that distorts our perception of right and wrong, our view of God and His will, and will kill us if we don’t allow Christ to purify us. As Paul says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
3. Slander–I’ve said it, but it’s a lie: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Words can hurt, especially when they are untrue and used by Satan to break hearts, steal joy, and kill love. In my many years of ministry, I’ve experienced–first hand–what happens when gossip poisons a Saint’s mind. Gossip is deadly. Like a ravenous beast wandering the landscape devouring any living creature that crosses its path, gossip takes no prisoners, leaves no survivors, and is never satisfied until it stands victoriously on the crushed bones of its victims. God had a few things to say about gossip and slander. Here are a few of his thoughts on the matter:
” ‘Do not go about spreading slander among your people. ” ‘Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life. I am the LORD.
2 He whose walk is blameless
and who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from his heart
3 and has no slander on his tongue,
who does his neighbor no wrong
and casts no slur on his fellowman,
Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret, him will I put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, him will I not endure.
Let slanderers not be established in the land; may disaster hunt down men of violence.
He who conceals his hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool.
A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends.
A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much.
For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander
28Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents;
1 Corinthians 5:11
But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.
1 Timothy 5:13
Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to.
1 Peter 2:1
Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.