Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Gossip Mill (05/08/14)
TITLE: A New Product
By Thomas Meyer
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A mill, no matter the type, has one function, and only one function – To Grind Things Up! When the grinding is complete there is a new product. A sugar mill grinds up sugarcane and produces sugar, a grits mill grinds up corn and produces corn meal, a flour mill grinds up wheat and produces flour, and a gossip mill grinds up people’s reputations and produces devastation.
Mill operators are well trained professionals who have perfected their craft through years of practice so they can produce the best possible product. Unfortunately, gossip mill operators have perfected their craft as well, but instead of creating a product that helps mankind, the product of the gossip mill often ruins lives.
The problem with gossip is that it does not have to be true to be believed. In a world of instant communication, coupled with a public who wants everything spoon-fed to them and thus, as a whole, do not research facts, the gossip mill is a prime tool for those who want to see their philosophy or agenda advanced. Once a “fact” has been put forth, it is very difficult to get it retracted. People theorize, “If it’s on the internet, it must be true!”
The Bible is very clear that gossip is wrong. Proverbs 16:28 states, “A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.” – NIV. In other words, the gossip mill operator has the ability to cause conflict in virtually any situation. But what does God do about gossipers?
The Word is very straightforward about the fate of those who gossip. In Proverbs 11:12-13 the Bible states, “Whoever derides their neighbor has no sense, but the one who has understanding holds their tongue. A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.”- NIV. So God is saying that those who gossip are senseless but he goes further stating in Proverbs 18:6-8, “The lips of fools bring them strife, and their mouths invite a beating. The mouths of fools are their undoing, and their lips are a snare to their very lives. The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts.” – NIV.
It is true that the gossip mill chews up people and causes devastation that can last for years, and even lifetimes. But what can the Christian who is caught up in the gossip mill do? First of all, do what God instructs us to do. Mathew 5:44 states, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you”-KJV. Do not get caught up in trying to defend yourself and get into a he-said-she-said confrontation, because it will only cause you to look defensive, and thus, guilty of what is being said. Hold your head up, walk straight, keep your voice silent, and let your life be a witness of the truth. Your actions will speak far more that your words could ever say. God is very clear about the ultimate price the gossiper will pay.
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