W. Austin Gardner
Biblical Communication 10
When God goes into a long list of the wickedness of this world, He mentions deceit. Deceit is taking advantage through craft and underhanded methods. They cheat to accomplish their purposes. They are mean-spirited and full of venom. They are whisperers, gossips, slanderers. They are arrogant and boastful. He is talking about wicked people, but as believers, we often live the same way. They want to make life hell on earth. Romans 1:29-30
This passage embarrasses me, not sure about you—what a description of sins I have fallen into personally. God forgive us all.
How do we want to talk? We want to enrich others like we have been enriched by the Lord. Speech that gives knowledge of God has great value. That is where we want to focus. I Corinthians 1:5. Our goal is to bless, strengthen, and enrich. It is not about us or our reputation.
Check out II Corinthians 12:20. It concerned Paul that there were debates among the brethren. This word debate refers to an engagement in rivalry, strife, discord, contention. Paul said that he heard about envyings in the church. Envyings speak of jealousy against someone, indignation, resentment, and uneasiness at the superior condition and happiness of another. The apostle had heard of wraths or intense displeasure in the church. There were strifes, selfish ambition, a contention for superiority. There were backbitings, the act of speaking ill of another, evil speech, slander, defamation, detraction. There were whisperings (derogatory information about someone offered in a tone of confidentiality, (secret) gossip, tale-bearing. There were swellings (swelled-headedness, pride, conceit.
Paul wanted them to get these things right before he came to visit. He was tired of the disorder. Why were such vicious rumors, such angry words, and everyone taking sides going on in the church of God?
We easily believe that we are someone special and deserve respect. We believe that God’s work is our work. We take ownership in the wrong way. That leads to tumults, disturbance, opposition to established authority.