Proverbs 16:28

A dishonest man spreads strife,
and a whisperer separates close friends.

“Did you hear about Joe?”
“I know I probably shouldn’t be saying this, but I thought you had a right to know.”
“What’s going on between that couple? I bet it has to do with…”

And so the poison works in creating doubt, suspicion, resentment. All it takes is a remark supposedly in innocence, even under the guise of concern. And we need to examine ourselves. The truth is that I can be the dishonest man spreading strife because it is easy to be dishonest with myself. I can convince myself that I am speaking what is needed (and not because I am angry or jealous or hurt). It is easy for me to think that others are being oversensitive or spiteful or hypocritical in their response to my words. They are the real problem.

We must be careful of dishonest people and gossips. They can cause real harm. But today, I want you to be more alert to how dishonesty and hurtful words can come out of your mouth. It can happen. Remember, the heart is “deceitful above all things” (Jeremiah 17:9). Even our redeemed hearts have vestiges of the old nature remaining, and we can be blind to our sinful motive and behavior.

Pray that the Lord will prevent dishonesty and “whispering” from flowing out of your heart today. Be alert to the opportunities that will come your way to speak out of hurt and jealousy. Pray that you may have the discernment to look even into your own heart.

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