Fire goes out without wood, and quarrels disappear when gossip stops. -Proverbs 26:20 NLT
What a statement!
I’m guessing everyone’s been to a gossip fire before. Sadly, most of us have wasted too many valuable hours and days telling our gossip fire stories.
If we’ll be honest, if we’ll admit it: we’ve even been the person to single handedly keep some fires burning… with the logs of our combustible words.
The Apostle Paul instructed Christian people how we should talk: Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. -Ephesians 4:29 NIV
I think about my friend Levi Brown. He’s a fire fighter. Whenever he gets that call, he lays his life on the line without hesitation. Levi suits up, hops into his fire truck and races to the fire. Just as soon as he arrives to the scene, he and his fellow fire fighters do everything they were trained to do. They rescue people out of the flames, they put out every fire as quickly as possible. And our community cherishes her fire department. We pray for our fire fighters, to be safe and successful every day.
Today, I’m talking about another kind of fire. It’s not started with fuel, spark, and air. This kind of fire doesn’t char the physical bodies of its victims. Much worse, the gossip fire chars the reputation of its victims… it torments minds and mutilates the souls of good people. If you’re a gossip fire survivor, then you know what I’m talking about.
James 3:5-10 NIV Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.
I think when we all look back over our lives in the end, some of our biggest regrets will be the regrets we have from starting and fueling various gossip fires throughout our years. Even though I’ve been very careful not to do this very often, still it’s happened more than I’d like to admit. The longer I follow Jesus, the less I want to be involved in the charring of innocent victims… and the more I want to sacrifice my life to fight the fires.
Once again, from Proverbs 26:20, “Fire goes out without wood, and quarrels disappear when gossip stops.”
I could write so much more on this topic, but I’d love to hear from you guys today! Please add to my teaching with your brilliant thoughts. I just finished praying for you all. Make this another most triumphant day. With much love…
Dream Big, Live Bold, and Make the Difference!