Vol. 7, No. 6
~ Page 11 ~
The other day I was talking to one of the older men from our community. We were wrapped up in the usual small talk about how wet and dreary the weather was or how we like fresh onions out of the garden, when Bud said, "You know what I heard the other day while I was having coffee down at the store?" When I heard "down at the store" a red flag went up because it's one of the gathering places for the older fellas like Bud and there's usually not a shortage of tall tales, gossip and lies around those small tables setting over in the corner of our local grocery store. "They're puttin' a McDonald's in that new school building!" Bud said working himself up into a lather. Then he went on about how he was tired of that school using all his tax money for all the fancy stuff they have in schools now days.
I'm sure Bud was one of those poor individuals who had to walk ten miles to school barefooted, in the snow, uphill both ways. A friend of mine was sitting there with me and we tried to tell Bud that it was probably illegal to have a business located in a public school building, but this didn't put a dent in Bud's belief that what he'd heard at the store was anything short of the Gospel truth.
The story that Bud had heard was harmless enough, though it did get him riled up a bit when he talked about it. But that's not always the case. Sometimes loose talk can destroy the best of reputations and cause loads of trouble. The Bible says, "The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly" (Proverbs 18:8). Christians must build a resistance against listening to and passing on tall tales and gossip no matter how interesting or entertaining they may seem. How many times have we seen someone cut to the bone because of some loose talk that's circulating in the local church! We need to take to heart the words of Paul when he wrote, "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers" (Ephesians 4:29). Gossip never did give anybody a boost of confidence, especially if he or she was on the receiving end. So, the next time you find yourself swapping juicy stories with someone, nip it in the bud, because you may find out that your tax money is going for a new drive-thru!