Today’s Scripture is Proverbs 26:20-21,
Without wood a fire goes out
Without gossip a quarrel dies down
As charcoal to embers and wood to fire
So is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife
Today’s blog post is by Hazel Campbell,
Who said she did that? Not sure!
And so my friend that’s how it began. No one knew the source, but everyone heard the story and willingly passed it on. The investigation proved it wrong. Gossip, slander, backbiting, whispers and unfounded assumptions are the pitfalls against which the verses above are set to warn us. Whether in the church, or among our families, or in society, the effects of these words are the same DISCORD. The common saying ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never’ is just false. Gossips (words) have brought down empires, kings, rulers and even create contentious environments in churches.
A recent report revealed that 60% of all adult conversations is about someone not present!
The first known usage of the word ‘gossip’ is said to be before 1627 (Webster) and that it has gone in meaning from ‘godparent,’ ‘close friend’ to present day meaning ‘anyone, friend or not ,who shares the secret of others’ Why do we engage in such a destructive act? To gain friendships; add importance to ourselves; jealousy; for others to see us more pure or holy?
Or, is it that we are expressing a heart condition?
I invite you to join me, just for a moment, and walk in the shoes of someone who is being gossiped about. There is pain – dreadful pain. He or she feels hated, is discouraged, feels friendless, lonely, helpless. He or she is swabbing wounds that are unseen to the eye. Is this a place for our neighbor to reside peacefully?
Tempted ever to gossip! Make the choice instead to recall Proverbs Ch. 17:9, “He that covers a transgression seeks love, but he that repeats a matter separates very friends.”