Have you ever noticed how tabloids love leading with headlines that go something like this: Prince’s Secret Love Letters Revealed? And doesn’t that sell newspapers, or these days, attract online clicks.
There’s something so alluring, about the idea that you could find out a secret about someone. Grubby tabloids and women’s magazines have been leveraging that for decades to grow their circulation and advertising revenue. Just think about that. A multi-billion-dollar global business model based on gossip, making money off the back of other people’s misery.
But let’s not just poke the proverbial bony finger of judgement at them. Come on, how often have you been tempted to gossip, to tell secrets about someone that you shouldn’t tell? Or worse still, to spread unfounded rumours that could destroy them?
It’s most telling that one of the great wisdom books in the Bible, The Book of Proverbs, dedicates so many column inches to gossip:
Proverbs 18:8 The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body. (ESV)
Right there, God puts His great and mighty finger on just how tempting it is to be a gossiper. And just like a delicious morsel laced with poison, those tidbits end up deep inside, rotting hearts, poisoning minds.
So how do you stop that from happening? How do you stop lives and relationships from being ruined through gossip?
Proverbs 26:20 For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarrelling ceases. (ESV)
In other words, when the chain of gossip comes your way, don’t fuel it, don’t embellish it and then pass it on to someone else. Let the gossip chain end with you.
For lack of wood the fire goes out.
That’s God’s Word. Fresh … for you … today.