One of my favorite tools in my feeble attempts to communicate biblical truth over 49 years has been and is humor with a chuckle and after thought, a message.
Such is the case with today's zinger gleaned from our church sign and placed for thousands to read as they drive past by one Doris Wright. Those who know will find this more than humorous and on point.
"What goes in one ear and out the mouth is probably gossip."
The humor is in the fact that while everyone condemns gossip, we all fall into the trap of doing it. Alice Roosevelt Longworth once stated, "If you haven't got anything good to say about anyone, come and sit by me." Tabloids have made fortunes spreading gossip and truth with innuendo spun into the mix. Many religious papers are little more than pages of gossip mongering.
Solomon commented on the danger of gossip when he wrote in Ecclesiastes 10:20:
Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.
From this warning we get the gossip mantra, "A little bird told me."
We are admonished in Job 27:4:
My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit.
Most of us need to repeat this verse 75 times per day.
The staunch James weighs in with his statement, made several times, I use but one in James 3:5:
Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
I am struck by the last phrase, "How great a matter a little fire kindleth." We joke about gossip, but can we count the marriages destroyed by this cancer of the heart and tongue. Churches have been and are being wiped out of service due to tongues tied to hearts set on fire, not for Christ, but for some sort of revenge. Shakespeare mentioned gossip in Much Ado About Nothing act v Scene 3 with this, "Done to death by slanderous tongues."
The saying on the church sign is on target, and so is Peter in 1Peter 3:10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Easy to say.