Devastating Words

Gossip causes more trouble than we realize.

Four priests got together for a friendly conversation. One of them said, “People come to us confessing many things, and confession is good for the soul. While we are together, we should take some time to confess to one another.”

The others were reluctant for a few minutes, but came around to the idea confession time would be good. The priest who had the idea started the confessing. He enjoyed going to movies, and he would frequently sneak away from church to go to the movies.

The second confessed to smoking cigars, and the third confessed to playing cards. When it was the fourth priest’s turn, he remained silent. The others pressed him until he opened up.

“Mine is gossip, and I cannot hardly wait to get out of here,” he said.

Gossip causes much difficulty. It can create strife in families, friends, and on the job. It can bring good people down and rise up fools. Sharp tongues can erode one’s confidence and ruin reputations in a matter of minutes. Gossip has the power to cause much devastation.

While you and I cannot control our neighbor’s tongue, we can control our own. If we do not repeat gossip, we will not be spreading the wildfire it lights. If we do not intently listen to gossip, perhaps the conversation will be changed. Without our participation, the devastation caused by gossip may not be as severe.

Proverbs 26:20-21 says, “Fire goes out without wood, and quarrels disappear when gossip stops. A quarrelsome person starts fights as easily as hot embers light charcoal or fire lights wood.”

During World War II, the American government became concerned enemy spies were passing along information about the location of troops and ships. The military adopted the slogan, “Loose lips sink ships.”

Gossip can cause much devastation, but kind words can build others up and minimize the damage. Say something kind today.

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