Devotional Tidbit – No, I Don’t Know
Proverbs 11:13; 16:28; 18:8; 20:19; 26:20; 26:22
Saturday August 20, 2005
Gossip is a killer. I know I partake in it in some way because, like most people, I don’t know where the fine line between fact and gossip exists. Over the years, people have come up to me and said, “You know about so and so, don’t you?” More often than not, my reply has been, “No, I don’t know.” Now let me make one point clear. The people who have wondered if I’ve heard about so and so aren’t necessarily those who are gossiping. Many of these individuals just assume we’ve heard what they’ve heard.
There’s no telling how many times this has happened to me over the years. These occurrences were not at the workplace or at school; they were at church and concerned church members. Unbelievable huh? You’re shocked aren’t you? You’re not? I didn’t think you would be.
My wife and I have both told people that we don’t know about “so and so” or about a particular situation. We either run with the wrong crowd or we just aren’t overly interested in gossip which also constitutes slander at times.
There are times when church members can’t help themselves. When a negative story floats around about Little Miss Perfect or about the son of Mr. High and Mighty, the temptation to tell someone is often times too great to resist, especially if we don’t like that person. Well, I declare today that we must resist that temptation. If Christians are going to exhibit real love, then we better start going to the object of every piece of juicy gossip and confront that person instead of talking about them. This gossip could be in the form of personal or theological matters and all points in between. We need to stop murmuring and mumbling and just go directly to the source. Unless you yourself are living a mighty exalted Christian life right now, you probably have someone you should confront. I know I do. Let’s do it together this coming week. We can get on our knees this weekend and pray that we have the guts to stop the rumors, gossiping, murmuring, and mumbling, and clothe ourselves with the love God wants us to exhibit to others.
Finally, listening is part of the problem. Even if I declare I won’t tell another soul about a piece of juicy gossip, my listening is half the problem. Gossip doesn’t happen unless there is someone to talk and another to listen. Forgive me God for those rare times I listen to gossip and thank you for the strength I’ve had to change the subject when I’ve needed to do so. By the way, some of you receiving this email have seen me listen to gossip and I ask God for forgiveness for those times I’ve been interested in gossip.