STOP SPREADING FALSE RUMOURS!

WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL

MAY 28, 2024

TOPIC: STOP SPREADING FALSE RUMOURS!

BY T. O. BANSO

But the other men replied, ‘Those people are much too strong for us.’ Then they started spreading rumors and saying, ‘We won’t be able to grow anything in that soil. And the people are like giants. In fact, we saw the Nephilim who are the ancestors of the Anakim. They were so big that we felt as small as grasshoppers” (Numbers 13:31-33 Contemporary English Version).

Psychologists have found that people spread rumours for about six reasons: when there is uncertainty, when they feel anxiety, when the information is important, when they believe the information, when it helps their self-image, and when it helps their social status (socialpyschologyonline.com).

A rumour is a piece of information, or story that people talk about, but may not be true (The Oxford Learner’s Dictionary). Rumours are unverified or unconfirmed reports. They may or may not be true.

Rumours are powerful because, many times, people tend to believe and act on them, even when they are not true. Acting on an untrue piece of information or a story has consequences. I am concerned, in this devotional, about false rumours – untrue information, stories, or reports.

Unfortunately, it is now common for people to make online posts, including videos deliberately making false allegations against others, including those they have never met in their lives. Some send such lies via WhatsApp. They engage in cyberbullying and defaming others’ character.

Some of these people have been arrested in the past by the police following petitions by their victims. The perpetrators confessed that the contents they posted were lies and that they did it for popularity. They “wanted to trend” and, hopefully, derive some financial benefits. Why would a sane person want to assassinate the character of another for popularity and monetary gain? Some people even arrange with others to spread false rumours about themselves for the same reasons: popularity and monetary gains. Imagine someone arranging with another person to post untrue information about him, such as his death, just to gain popularity! Some people are just crazy for popularity and money and can do anything to achieve this goal. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Timothy 6:10 New King James Version).

False rumours affect individuals, the church, communities, organizations, governments, and even nations. Don’t start or spread false rumours about anyone, an organization, the government, or yourself through word of mouth or writing via letters, SMS, or posts on social media. Somebody may have started it, but don’t spread it. It’s a sin for a Christian to spread false rumours. All liars shall have their part in the lake, which burns with fire and brimstone (Revelation 21:8).

A false rumour is a bad report. Biblically, when you say about yourself or others what is contrary to the Word of God, you are spreading false rumours! When you say what the Word of God has not said about you, your family, etc., you are spreading false rumours!

In Numbers 13, the ten spies came back from exploring the Promised Land with a bad report, contrary to God’s promise that He was giving the land to the Israelites (verse 2). These tribal leaders started spreading false rumours, but Caleb and Joshua didn’t join them.

Verses 31-33 say, But the other men replied, ‘Those people are much too strong for us.’ Then they started spreading rumors and saying, ‘We won’t be able to grow anything in that soil. And the people are like giants. In fact, we saw the Nephilim who are the ancestors of the Anakim. They were so big that we felt as small as grasshoppers’” (Contemporary English Version). Note the phrase “they started spreading rumors.”

That was after 40 days of spying out the land. They said the land was flowing with milk and honey (verse 27). But they placed undue emphasis on the fact that there were giants in the land and their cities were walled.

Caleb tried to calm down the crowd. He told them that they should go and take the land because they could do so. But the other spies, excluding Joshua, started spreading false rumours – a bad report – which discouraged the people. “So all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, ‘If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness! Why has the LORD brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?’ So they said to one another, ‘Let us select a leader and return to Egypt’” (Numbers 14:1-4 New King James Version).

Joshua and Caleb, building faith in the people to go and possess the land, said God would give it to them if they obeyed Him, but the people wanted to stone Moses and Aaron (verses 6-10). These leaders’ false rumours cost the Israelites forty years of wandering in the wilderness. All of them, 20 years upward, except Joshua and Caleb, perished in the wilderness (verses 26-38).

Don’t spread false rumours; don’t believe or act on them. These spies said the land they went to spy out devoured its inhabitants (verse 32). But they met people there! Yes, there were giants in the land, but there is no record that they called the spies grasshoppers! They called themselves so. Even if that were true, the giants were not bigger than the God of the Israelites. Isaiah 40:22 says of God, “It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers” (New King James Version). These inhabitants include the giants! The ten spies didn’t have to discourage other Israelites with their false rumours. Don’t start or spread false rumours.

David said, “I have heard the many rumors about me” (Psalm 31:13a New Living Translation). Speaking about the plot against him, Jeremiah said the people of Judah said, among other things, “Let’s spread rumors about him and ignore what he says” (Jeremiah 18:18 New Living Translation). Jeremiah, complaining to God about his unpopular ministry, said, “I have heard the many rumors about me. They call me ‘The Man Who Lives in Terror” (Jeremiah 20:10a New Living Translation).

In Nehemiah 6:6, Sanballat, the enemy of the Jews, in an open letter sent to Nehemiah lied that there were rumours that he was rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem so that he might be their king. Nehemiah replied that it wasn’t true, but rather Sanballat’s invention. Don’t spread false rumours about those in authorities or anyone. The latter part of Isaiah 58:9 says, Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors!” (New Living Translation). Note the phrase “spreading vicious rumors!”

Mark 13:7 says about the signs of the end that when believers hear of wars and rumors of wars, they shouldn’t be troubled; for such things must happen, but it’s not yet the end.

Stop spreading false rumours about others or yourself. Don’t disseminate unverified or unconfirmed reports about others. Don’t be the author of fake news. Don’t assassinate anyone’s character because of popularity, money, or other selfish motives.

TAKE ACTION!

If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner, and cannot save yourself, and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.

Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner, and I cannot save myself.  I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.

I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You must join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.

PRAYER POINTS: My mouth shall declare the truth; I shall not spread false rumours. I will not discourage other people or defame their character with false rumours.

(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).

T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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