November 28, 2009
Delivering The Dirt
READ: Proverbs 26:20-28
Where there is no wood, the fire goes out; and where there is no talebearer, strife ceases. —Proverbs 26:20
Christian industrialist and inventor R. G. LeTourneau is known for his enormous earth-moving machines. One of his products was known simply by the name, “Model G.” A prospective buyer, hoping to stump a salesman, asked, “What does the ‘G’ stand for?”
“I guess the G stands for gossip,” was the salesman’s quick reply. “Because, like gossip, this machine moves a lot of dirt, and moves it fast!”
The Proverbs have a lot to say about gossip: Those who gossip are untrustworthy (11:13) and should be avoided (20:19). Gossip separates the closest of friends (16:28) and keeps relational strife boiling (18:8). It pours fuel on the coals of conflict, feeding the flames of hurt and misunderstanding (26:21-22).
The Hebrew word for “gossip” or “talebearing” actually means “whispering that is damaging.” We fool ourselves into thinking that those juicy, whispered comments here and there are harmless. But gossip leaves behind a wide swath of destruction and is never a victimless crime. Someone is always hurt. So here’s a word to the wise: “Where there is no talebearer, strife ceases” (Prov. 26:20). Let’s leave the dirt-moving to big machines. Put the shovels away and revel in the joy of gossip-free relationships! — Joe Stowell
Many things that others say
Are not for us to tell;
Help us, Lord, to watch our tongue—
We need to guard it well. —Branon
Destroy gossip by ignoring it.