Gossip And Strife
He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets; therefore, do not associate with a gossip.
Proverbs 20:19 (NAS)
Gossip is a killer. It is Satan's street talk. Where two or three are gathered in anyone's name but Jesus, the temptation toward gossip is strong. Intellectuals disguise gossip as amateur psychology; 'They reason among themselves' (Mark 11:31). Christians disguise gossip as a righteous judgment, though God warns us not to judge.
Consider a brush fire in your neighbor's yard. You see it and feel unsettled, wondering if a spark might blow into your own yard. And when it does, you have a hose in your hand. But instead of turning on the water, you just stand and do nothing. The spark becomes a raging fire, and your whole house is threatened.
'Like charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire, so is a contentious man to kindle strife' (Proverbs 26:21).
Whether you participate in a gossip-fire or just stand around looking, the witness of destructive words makes you equally guilty--just like a man with a water hose who never turns it on.
In writing this devotion, I confess to being a speaker and a witness to the evil-glowing embers of back-scorching words. I would be a hypocrite not to confess this sin, repent from it, and ask forgiveness of God and man. So I do. So we must.
Gossip is false witness, because only God knows the truth; without coming to God and directly to the person in question, we sin (see Matthew 18:15).
Gossip is Satan's match looking for a person to strike it. Once done, the spark seeks mouths to blow it.
Praise God that Jesus provides the fire hose, because He said 'He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water' (John 7:38).
Satan is fire-hosed. Gossip is extinguished. Truth is revealed. Friends are strengthened. Love wins.