October 27, 2011
Read: Leviticus 19:11-18
You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people. —Leviticus 19:16
When Shayla McKnight applied for a job for an online printing company, she was surprised to learn that they had a zero-tolerance policy for gossip. The employees are encouraged to confront one another, instead of gossip about their fellow employees. If employees are caught gossiping, they are reprimanded, and if they continue, they are fired.
Long before this kind of policy was ever implemented by a company, God spoke of His own zero-tolerance policy for gossip and slander among His people (Lev. 19:16). Idle talk that foolishly or maliciously spreads rumors or facts about another person was forbidden.
Solomon said that speaking badly of others could have disastrous effects. It betrays confidence (Prov. 11:13), separates close friends (16:28; 17:9), shames and saddles you with a bad reputation (25:9-10), and perpetually fuels the embers of a quarrel (26:20-22). People rarely can undo the damage their untrue words have done to a neighbor.
Let’s ask the Lord to help us not to engage in harmful talk about others. He wants us to set a guard over our mouths so that we’ll instead speak all the good we know about everybody.
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.