WATCH IT GROW
A rumor can begin as a very small thing. It takes only two people to start one, whether it be true or false. However, as it goes from one to another, it soon becomes gossip, which can finally ruin one’s reputation. Isn’t it odd that casual conversation seldom deals with the good attributes of someone. Most people do not pay much attention to this kind of conversation. Yet, let someone start a juicy bit of gossip, and all ears “prick up” and gather all the trash that they can.
Maybe you will say that gossip isn’t condemned in the Bible since the word isn’t found in the King James translation. It is true, the word isn’t found. However, we have another word that means exactly the same thing. This word is “talebearer.” In Proverbs 18:8, the writer says, “The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.” The same writer says in Proverbs 26:20,”Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.”
What do these two passages teach? First, the words of a gossip can cause damage that is many times un-repairable. Secondly, if we refuse to listen to gossip, it will cease just as the fire goes out when no fuel is added.
It is dangerous for a Christian to be a carrier of gossip. It is possible to cause a new convert to stumble. Jesus deals with this in Matthew 18:6, “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”
Remember this one thing. It takes a lifetime to build a good reputation, and only one bit of gossip to destroy it. It takes only two to start a rumor, but after it becomes gossip, two hundred can’t undo the harm that has been caused!