Spiritual Fire Fighting
Verse 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
We continue our look at the small but mighty muscle called the tongue and its effect on our lives. Today we look at one of the dangers we all face in monitoring our tongue.
Gossip is sometimes called the pet sin of the Church. Even the people of the world know of the fire that burns through most churches. If it wasn’t a problem the “little old ladies” of the church wouldn’t have such a reputation. Of course it isn’t just the ladies of the church, young or old, that have an issue with this condition of the tongue.
We may try to rename it so that it doesn’t sound like a sin. We may even give it a name that sounds like we are being really holy like calling it a “prayer request” but the truth is that we are just wanting to share information that we can’t hold to ourselves. This isn’t saying that we should never give prayer requests but maybe we should ask ourselves if we should share it before we do.
There are a few ways we can tell if the request should be shared or not. First we should ask ourselves if this is our information to share. If we were to ask the person we have information about would they say it is ok to share it? Would we even be willing to ask them? In fact, if we don’t feel comfortable asking them if we can share it, we probably shouldn’t.
There may be cases where it is public knowledge and so it can be shared but even then we need to be cautious of not sharing something that isn’t provided. It is so easy to add our opinion or thoughts on the topic without just giving the facts. To embellish or taint a story for one’s own benefit is one of the problems with gossip.
The fire of gossip can be deadly and spread fast. It is so destructive. This small muscle in our mouth has the ability to tear apart relationships but also to bind them together.
Making It Personal
Has anyone ever set a fire of gossip about you? Have you set any fires with your tongue lately? When do you find it hardest not to start a fire with your tongue?
Making It Personal Kids
What do you think gossip is? Have you ever gossiped? Why is gossip bad?
Father, please forgive us the times we have talked out of turn about someone. Give us the wisdom we need to guard our mouth from speech not pleasing to You. In Jesus’ name, amen.