Best yard sale find ever! While cruising some local garage/yard sales many years ago, we found a huge, used wood burner that would be perfect in our newly-purchased country home. After installing our low-cost find, we set about the task of gathering, splitting, and stacking wood for the upcoming winter. How wonderfully cozy that fire was on a bitter cold January evening. We followed the same ritual every night, choosing the largest logs and loading that wood burner as full as possible, hoping that the fire would be sustained through the night. But in spite of our best efforts, unless one of us arose in the middle of the night to throw in some more logs and feed the fire, the flames were generally dead by morning, reduced to ash, taking away that cozy wood-burning warmth with it.
We live in a high-tech world of instant messaging, emailing, social media, Facebook, Twitter, cell phones, an overflow of platforms to empower us with a conduit for constant communication, a public forum to license us to say whatever we want whenever we feel the urge to speak out on a topic. Sadly though, that advanced modern media often lends itself to hasty words, tale-bearing, bullying, and gossiping. Those words, when typed too quickly, without spiritual management and godly guidance, can become modern-day weapons of mass destruction, causing the most deadly of fires, bearing ugly fruits. Scripture defines a talebearer as one who travels about as a slander-monger; a whisperer. Talebearers assassinate character and cause bitter suffering, and not only to those on the receiving end of the whispering.
Just as the fire in our old wood burner would extinguish itself if fuel was not added, strife will cease if there is no talebearer. But when gossip is allowed free reign, words become “wounds…into the inner most parts of the belly,” DEEP wounds, injuring others, erasing friendships, destroying entire churches. It’s little wonder that God warns us “not to go up and down as a talebearer.”
I’m saddened when I ponder the times that I have failed to quench that fire of gossip, but instead have heaped logs upon the blaze, with little thought of the dire consequences of that flame I was feeding. When gossip reaches my ear, rather than adding fuel to the fire of contention, I want to be reminded that “he that is faithful concealeth a matter.” My Father would be pleased to see me extinguish that fire and “minister grace unto the hearers,” using my words to edify and to uplift those around me. What a challenge for this weak vessel! But with God’s grace and strength, I want to let that fire go out.
Proverbs 26:20 Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out, so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.
Lord, help me to resist that carnal desire to gossip, to be a whisperer. Help me to respond as You would respond, full of grace and love.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-1215-6391df436ca26' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=1215&origin=wp.blog.blog.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-1215-6391df436ca26' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-1215-6391df436ca26' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>