When we verbally accuse someone of improper motives or misrepresent their actions to others (in order to salve our own consciences), we have sacrificed them in worship of our own ideologies. God has never accepted human sacrifices; Satan regularly receives them. So I guess the question becomes, then, who am I fundamentally honoring with my lips? God or Satan?
For years, Mrs. Cleaver was accused of setting a stereotype for the "ideal" homemaker. Every woman is supposed to wear a dress, heels and pearls while washing perfectly clean dishes. What a lot of people don't realize is that Barbara Billingsly wasn't trying to set a standard for women. She suggested to the producers that she be allowed to wear the pearls regularly because she had a noticeable surgical scar on her neck. To wear a choker strand of pearls concealed it from the cameras. I've actually heard people speak derogatorily of Barbara and her portrayal of June Cleaver without knowing what she'd been through to cause that behavior and choice.
Rumor usually has only half the story, because the one who started it has an axe to grind. Therefore, those who perpetrate what they've heard are only sharing half-truths (a.k.a. lies), because they've deduced the motives and intentions of the involved parties without knowing what's happened to bring them to those behaviors and choices. Meanwhile, another person is sacrificed on the altar of the tongue and the testimony of believers to a lost and dying world is corrupted again. Or maybe that's just a rumor, too.
There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him:
- haughty eyes,
- a lying tongue,
- hands that shed innocent blood,
- a heart that devises wicked schemes,
- feet that are quick to rush into evil,
- a false witness who pours out lies,
- and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers (Proverbs 6:16-19).