Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – August 11, 2014
Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down. Proverbs 26:20
Gossip is the go to behavior for those who want to get back at someone. Maybe they were hurt and this is their passive way to inflict pain. Or, motivated by insecurity, they feel the need to build themselves up by putting others down. This idle talk or rumor only exposes the immature heart of the instigator. Misinformation by the misinformed leads to confusion at the least and clouds character at the worse. Thus, by God’s grace we refrain from fueling the fires of gossip.
Indeed a discreet heart pauses before it is tempted to tickle ears. There is a nobler commitment to create conversation around ideas, not default to lazy discussions that demean people. Discretion protects our souls from embarrassing entanglements that later prove to be untrue or half truths. For example, we may talk about someone’s long lunches at work not knowing they visit their elderly parent in a nursing home. Discretion is a diligent fact finder that is slow to find fault.
“Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you” (Proverbs 2:11).
Furthermore, how can we be discreet as a recipient of gossip? First of all, we recognize it is as a deterrent to a healthy culture at home and work. It creates factions, contributes to mistrust and disloyalty, and it erodes productivity. When we politely dismiss discussions based on hearsay, we say to the gossiper, you do not have control over me or the person you are dishonoring. Instead of keeping quiet we say in love, “I’m surprised, I’ve always known her to finish the job.”
Above all else, we seek our heavenly Father for wisdom and discretion. Discretion is embedded in a heart of wisdom. Without discretion we are not wise, but foolish. Yes, the ability to avoid causing offense by revealing sensitive information is the fruit of wisdom and grace. We become a trusted confidant when our total trust is in Christ. Gossip is an unused, unintelligible foreign language to a faithful follower of Jesus. Our discretion is a safe environment for needy souls.
“I wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion. To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech” (Proverbs 8:12-13).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me a discreet heart that honors You and others.
Post/Tweet today: Gossip is an unused, unintelligible foreign language to a faithful follower of Jesus. #wisdomhunters
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