The Good Book says, “He that digs a pit shall fall into it. He that rolls a stone, a stone will roll back at him. He that breaks the hedge, a serpent shall bite him.” Many times in the Scripture, we are warned about the dangers of falling into the pit you have dug. The point being that if one plans on harming another, he must beware because he will end up being hurt by his plans! They relish bad news… will even fabricate evil news if need be. This is evidently noticeable in the characters of today’s replica of biblical Haman. “Headless mob” as posited by Prof Chukwuma Soludo.
Interestingly, the good things that Haman planned for himself, such as his idea of how to honor the one whom the king appreciated, he ended up having to do for Mordecai. “Go at once,” the king commanded Haman. “Get the robe and the horse and do just as you have suggested for Mordecai the Jew, who sits at the king’s gate. Do not neglect anything you have recommended.” Despite all the evil-will against Mordecai, Instead, Haman was hanged on the gallows he built for Mordecai, and, on the day planned for their annihilation, the Jews destroyed their enemies.
Ironically, this principle of our words having the power of life and death is clear in Proverbs 18:21. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Our words are like seeds that produce fruit, and we will eat the fruit of our words. In this passage of scripture, the word death means separation. When we speak words of death, it means we will eat the fruit of what separates us from what God intended for our lives. A lying tongue is being influenced by the devil. Gossip is another way to identify a sick tongue.
When we speak words of life, it means we will eat the fruit that produces life, what God intended for us. In Matthew 12:34 Jesus said, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” So whatever is in your heart will come out in your speech. Proverbs 14:23 says, “Keep your heart with all diligence for out of it springs the issues of life.” The reality is that if you have anger in your heart, anger will come out of your mouth. If you have complaining, harsh, resentful, judgmental, critical, negative gossip in your heart, it will come out in your words – it is unwise to rejoice and get excited about evil companionship with gossiping.
Gossip is another way to identify a sick tongue. Karen Salmansohn says, “Gossips are worse than thieves, because they steal another person’s dignity, honor, reputation, and credibility, which are impossible to restore, so remember this: when your foot slips, you can always recover your balance but when your tongue slips you cannot recover your words.” In Romans 1:29 God equates gossip (whispers) with murder and sexual immorality. Proverbs 16:28 says, “A perverse man sows strife, and a gossiper separates the best of friends.” Proverbs 11:23 says, “A talebearer reveals secrets, but he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter.”
The opposite of a talebearer (gossiper) is a faithful person who conceals a matter. If there is any place that we should be safe to confess our sins, failures, weaknesses, and faults, it should be among the body of Christ (the church). People should be able to come to us and tell us their deepest, darkest secrets and they should be safe with us. But that has not always been the case. I’m not talking about concealing illegal, dangerous or hurtful activity. If someone came to me with any information about a suicide attempt or child abuse, I would not keep that a secret.
A certain darkness is needed to see the stars. Shisha has broken the proverb of “No smoke without fire” No Smoke Without Fire? Not Anymore! I was naïve for a very long time. I never knew that people could deliberately cook up a story and promote it with all their might to make their fellow human being to look bad. The age-long saying, ‘no smoke without fire’ is now false in many instances. Disingenuously many people find it absolutely convenient to spread falsehood and hatred.
Gossip is sweet when you are not the subject discussed. Spreading falsehood and hatred is ungodly. It is wise to seek to hear the other side before you make conclusions. No matter how it looks, the most dangerous people are those whom you have not offended but hate you in solidarity with those who claim to be offended. From such, please turn away…no, FLEE. Life is sweet. Live it to the fullest. Hate limits but love is the correct way, the way to go.
Interestingly, gossip is slightly different from a rumor. Usually, gossip involves a juicy detail of some sort, which means the information is shocking or personal. What’s more, gossip is usually spread behind a person’s back and can be very hurtful. Gossip usually involves love, relationships, sex, and other issues that people usually do not talk about publicly. Additionally, gossip almost always causes pain and humiliation for the person it is about.
Painfully, people share gossip without any thought of how it might impact the person it is about. Gossips typically initiate unfounded rumors; rumor mongers perpetuate them, even if they lack any foundation of truth or could potentially damage others’ reputations or hurt their feelings. Rumors act like the proverbial worm in the apple, slowly eating away the goodwill and respect that creates camaraderie and trust. Yours truly, the writer of this article has experienced it and never will I join anyone or crowd in mob actions no matter how popular and mass appeal of such.
Permit me to conclude this article that seeks to discourage rumor and scandal-mongering with the profound words of Martin Luther king Jr. In his speech, which he delivered exactly one year to the day before he was assassinated, King foresaw how the war implied something larger about the nation. It was, he said, “but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit, and if we ignore this sobering reality … we will find ourselves organizing ‘clergy and laymen concerned’ committees for the next generation … unless there is a significant and profound change in American life.”