A fire in a fireplace is a great thing! A fire in your lap…not so much! You may say, “A fire in your lap? That’s dumb! Who would want that?” The answer is no one!! Proverbs 26:20 says, Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth. You see, a person who bears tales (gossip) causes strife. It’s like having a fire in your lap. No one wants it!
The strife that tale bearing causes is as hurtful as a fire burning in your lap. Even if the words are true, they are painful to hear. What do you do with this “story” after you’ve heard it?
I recently had someone share a “fire” with me. The words were true, but I didn’t need to hear them. They stung. It was like sparks flying from a hot ember, touching my very heart. Trying to deal with the burning coals for the next day or so wasn’t easy. They needed to be extinguished with the Water of God’s Word. I was reminded of words that were flung at Christ; untrue accusations, ugly names, words of doubt about Who He really was. What did He do? He answered not a word. Not a word. For me to pass on what was shared would be to pass along the fire. No one else needs this in their lap. I told my Savior, and of course He already knew. He applied the salve of His love and comfort.
Do you know some “hot news?” Keep it to yourself. It could be a burning ember that will scorch the hearer. The fire in my fireplace needs to keep burning, but the fire that needs to go out is the one that will cause strife. May we each let that talebearing fire cease.