“Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.” – Socrates
“Who gossips to you, will gossip of you.” – Turkish proverb
As a kid, I loved making camp fires. Even to this day I enjoy a good fire that the family can sit around and enjoy. One summer my family went to Colorado with some friends. I was home from college, and was staying in my own tent. Each morning the temperature would be down below freezing, and it was COLD.
Somehow, I took it upon myself to stoke the fire every morning with the remaining coals from the night before. The small burning embers simply needed some light kindling and before long a small blaze was going. Larger twigs, sticks, and eventually logs were added until a roaring camp fire was once again crackling.
The others at the campsite, I discovered later, would wait until I had the fire going and then exit their warm tents. There is something about a warm fire that draws people out of their cold tents in the morning.
Solomon lets us know that gossip acts similar to a camp fire. The fire I worked to rekindle would have died out and been nothing but a pile of ashes, but I labored to bring the live coals roaring back. Wood added to the fire keeps it alive, so a gossiper to gossip keeps it going.
All a story needs to stay alive is someone to tell it! Solomon calls these people “talebearers” and it literally means a whisperer. A talebearer is someone who always has the juicy piece of information, and just wanted to let you know… cuz’ you needed to know.
Recently, I received a phone call from a fellow pastor… a talebearer. His first words were, “did you hear… it’s bad man… it’s real bad”. He then proceeded to tell me all about the failures of another pastor who had been caught and was suffering consequences of his sins. The sins were indeed ‘real bad’, but I couldn’t help but feel grieved that this pastor felt the need to make sure everyone knew. He informed me that he had an entire list of pastors he was calling to tell them.
A talebearer can’t help it, when they get a piece of information or a story they just have to pass it along. They may disguise it as concern, a prayer request, or “just so you know”, but let’s call it what it is… GOSSIP.
Let your ears be the place gossip goes to die, and allow your lips to be gates that only that which is “true, honest, and of good report” passes through.
Daily Scripture Reading
“For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.”