Friday, September 11, 2009

Would You Tell Them to Their Faces (What You Would Say Behind Their Backs)?

 Proverbs 26:20-23 (Contemporary English Version) 

20 Where there is no fuel a fire goes out; where there is no gossip arguments come to an end.
21 Troublemakers start trouble, just as sparks and fuel start a fire.
22 There is nothing so delicious as the taste of gossip! It melts in your mouth.
23 Hiding hateful thoughts behind smooth talk is like coating a clay pot with a cheap glaze. 

Isn't it amazing how little we really know about a situation that we believe we have an expert opinion on?

We have a natural tendency to judge things based on they way they look or by what we have heard about them. The less we know the more we want to support our opinion so that we can remain the experts that we appear to be. We've seen this behavior countless times and the term know it all comes to mind when we see it in practice. Irritating, isn't it? It's not only that, it's wrong!

All lies are developed this way. The first example occurs with Eve and the serpent. God said, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."(Gen 2: 16-17) The serpent told Eve, "You will not surely die, for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (Gen 3: 4-5)

You can argue that God told Adam about the tree before He created Eve but she still knew that she shouldn't eat the fruit of the tree. The serpent supported its opinion by lying and covering it up. "Hey, Eve. Did God really say you can't eat from any tree? You won't die, you'll know what He knows." Eve said, "It looks good to me." Then she shared it with Adam.

Now what does this have to do with gossip, you may ask? The serpent started trouble. It fueled the fire by telling a lie and concealing it in a pretty package, selling it by presenting it as something that it was not. This is the process that is used when gossip forms.

"Have you heard about Mr. X's new car, I don't know how he can afford it with that low salary that he makes? I heard that he may run drugs because Ms. Z saw him take money from someone she didn't know last week, when she was at the diner eating. I'm just looking out for the community." or  "I never liked him anyway because he yelled at my kids last year and I think he beats his wife, but she's nice, she has a lovely smile, poor thing, etc."   

It's over the top, I know, but it happens very easily and the damage is hard to repair. You can say it as nicely as you want to, and even give a good reason for saying it, but it was never part of God's plan for us.

Facts are not speculation, don't say what you don't know. Think before you say anything. Does what you say hurt or does it heal? Everything the serpent said was meant to hurt, no matter how good it looked. Don't be like the serpent, don't put new paint on an old lie. Think on the truth of God's Word.

After doing all that, remember this question:

Would you tell them to their faces, what you would say behind their backs?

Think about it, God does.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome, awesome, awesome! Very powerful truth about the power of words and the need to think before we speak!
    If we would do as you suggested, which God has commanded, we would talk a lot less and listen a lot more.
    God bless you!