Proverbs 26:2 reads, “Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down.” I remember watching campfires when on family outings. At first there would be a large, crackling fire with lots of wood added to get it going. Then at a steady pace the flames would decrease and finally there would be no visible wood but only a quiet orange glow of embers that would eventually go out.

A quarrel between believers is much like a campfire. Gossip is compared to wood in the Proverb, and the quarrel itself is the fire. We can’t always avoid getting into a quarrel with another believer, but once the quarrel gets started we can control whether we gossip about it and keep it going. When people find out that their personal business was told to others, it only makes the original quarrel larger and then even others may takes sides.

Gossip is further compared in the same chapter to food that feeds folk’s hungry appetites: “The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts.” Romans 1 includes gossip in a list of sins that includes murder! We all have gossiped without even thinking about what we were doing. Here is Webster’s definition just to remind us what it is: revealing personal or sensational facts about others, a rumor of an intimate nature, or a chatty talk. Lord, You who never gossiped once, who blessed when others cursed, who saves the undeserving, make us more like You.

by David Marshall 

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