Have you ever caught yourself sharing a captivating story about the misfortunes of your neighbors, coworkers, or churchmates? Of course, we only share with compassion in our heart. We tell of the scandal, or the unforeseen consequences, and probably remind ourselves and others to pray. Proverbs 11:12-13 reminds us to be careful what we share about others and counsels us to strongly consider keeping our mouth shut. The verses remind us that it takes wisdom to keep silent. The verses challenge us to consider our motives in sharing the latest news about others. The one who tells the stories of their colleagues and neighbors in a way the might embarrass them is foolish and a gossip. Other passages remind us that our speech is both powerful and destructive. Holding our tongue builds trust. Gossip is among the most damaging sins within the church. A rule of thumb we might use is – if you are not sure if it is gossip, it probably is. Lord help us to build trust by holding our tongues.

by Jim Roberts, Deacon

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