Pr. 26:22: The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, and they go down into the inmost body.”
I read an article that was written about one of my great-aunts who passed on a few weeks ago. She would have been 100 years old this winter. The author of the article had gone to visit her and asked my great-aunt what life advice she would give a middle-ager.
The 3 things my great-aunt said she would have done differently were to read her Bible more, pray more, and not believe things she heard about others without having first heard their side.
I didn’t see that last one coming. Not something I would expect to hear a 99-year-old woman saying; however, perhaps a relationship in her life was lost or altered in her middle years that caused her to still think such a thing all those years later. I’m not sure.
This verse tells us that it shouldn’t be surprising, though. Words of gossip do not just bounce off of us, but are taken in, savored, digested, and soaked up into our very core. It then becomes very difficult to erase what we’ve heard, lie or not, because our minds are so hungry to make us feel better about ourselves.
If a 99-year-old woman, knowing she’s passing on to eternity, is still thinking about the effects of a decision like this, it seems it is certainly something we shouldn’t take lightly.
I guess the best thing is probably to avoid gossip at all, whenever possible. Then, if there is a situation where we do hear something, we can take her other advice and pray more. We can pray that God would help us be responsible with what we’ve heard and either help us forget it, if it isn’t necessary for us to know or concern ourselves with; or to give us a proper setting to hear the other side.
Remembering that no one is perfect, and that we all fall short of the glory of God and of perfection, we must be careful with not only what we hear, but also what we choose to do with those words. We can choose to savor, digest, and soak it in to raise ourselves up, or we can choose to protect, love, and build others up. With God all things are possible.
Soaking in the advice,