Do not join your hand with a wicked man to be a malicious witness.
They go around from house to house... gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention.
It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.
Do not speak evil of one another, brethren.
The spread of gossip is like the break of a dam: a drop here, a trickle there, and pretty soon, lives are ruined. The witness of the first dangerous drip should have stopped the flow.
The spread of gossip is like the sweep of a flame: a spark here, a blow there, and pretty soon, lives are ruined. Because 'The tongue is a fire... and sets on fire the course' (James 3:6) of many lives.
But, but... 'Where there is no wood, the fire goes out; And where there is no talebearer, strife ceases' (Proverbs 26:20). Because 'He who is trustworthy conceals a matter' (Proverbs 11:13), because 'He who covers a transgression seeks love' (Proverbs 17:9), because 'Love covers a multitude of sins' (1 Peter 4:8), because 'Love never fails' (1 Corinthians 13:8), and...
Because no one but Jesus is perfect. We all make mistakes.
Like Noah. The Bible reports one embarrassing episode. In Genesis 9, Noah became drunk and fell asleep naked.* When one of his sons saw him, he ran to tell his brothers. Instead of covering his father, he exposed him further. His penalty for gossip? That son's descendants were cursed.**
Actors, models and talent for Christ: to remain gossip-free in today's world would require isolation. Because you are following a Great Commission, isolation is not an option. So consider two Gossip Protection Plans and two Life Preservers:
1) Concerning your circle of brethren, denounce gossip and expose it. Believers should know better and show better. God hates the spread of strife. 'One who sows discord among brethren' (Proverbs 6:19) is #7 in the seven abominations of the Lord.***
2) Concerning your walk in the world, tread lightly. Most people don't know Jesus. Without the Holy Spirit, we would all be lost. So be kind, but don't hang in gossip circles. Whenever possible, gently extinguish harmful sparks.
1) If you have been a party to gossip, stop, drop and roll:
Stop: Don't do it anymore;
Drop: Get on your knees and ask forgiveness;
Roll: Repent. Turn back to positive words.
2) If you have been a victim of gossip, forgive and forget. Jesus did. You're in good company. Move on.
To Be Continued...
** Previous AMTC Devotion on the nakedness of Noah: http://amtcdevotions.org/nakedness-part-2
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Dream Haters series.