Christian Life · Speech · tongue

Let the Fire Die

fire pit

A fire in a fire pit 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 fire pit needs to keep burning, but the fire that needs to go out is the one that will cause strife.  May we each let that tale bearing fire cease.

With love,

Christian Life · tongue

When You’re Slandered

Image result for gossip

Four preachers met for a friendly gathering. During the conversation one preacher said,

“Our people come to us and pour out their hears, confess certain sins and needs. Let’s do the same. Confession is good for the soul.” In due time all agreed. One confessed he liked to go to movies and would sneak off when away from his church. The second confessed to liking to smoke cigars and the third one confessed to liking to play cards. When it came to the fourth one, he wouldn’t confess. The others pressed him saying, “Come now, we confessed ours. What is your secret or vice?” Finally he answered, “It is gossiping and I can hardly wait to get out of here.”

We laugh at that story, but the truth is, there are people who love to share things about someone with anyone willing to listen. If you’ve ever been the one being talked about, you know how hurtful those words can be. No one likes to think that someone is talking about them, because usually what is shared isn’t completely the truth. What can we do about it? Aside from approaching the person who is the gossip, we really can’t stop people from saying what they will. The answer to handling words from others comes from the Scriptures.

In Psalm 119:23 the psalmist says, Princes also did sit and speak against me: but thy servant did meditate in thy statutes. I read that in my prayer time a couple days ago and it hit me like a ton of bricks – this is the way to respond when others speak ill about you! What did the psalmist do when princes spoke against him? He thought on God’s Word. What might he have thought?

  • Psalm 56:9 Lord, I thank you that you are for me!
  • Psalm 73:25 Lord, you’re all I the approval I want.
  • Psalm 18:20 I thank you, Lord that you know my innocence and You will handle this for me.

There could be many other truths to meditate on when someone is speaking evil against you. What a blessing it is that the Lord knows and He cares. If we meditate on His Word instead of the gossip we will be encouraged instead of enraged, humbled instead of hurt.

If you’re going through a time of slander, be like the psalmist and run to the Word and think on its truths instead!

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Christian Life

Don’t Tell Anyone!

Gossiping can cause ‘invisible gorilla effect, say scientists

I was a young pastor’s wives, and as green as I could be when an older teen girl came to me with a problem.  She began by saying, “I need to talk to you, but you have to promise not to tell anyone about this.”

Of course I would keep it a secret – that’s what pastor’s wives were supposed to do, right?  Well, sort of.  As she began to share her problem with me, I realized that the root of the problem was due to a sin in her life…one that her parents didn’t know about, but that they needed to hear.  Now what was I to do?  I had promised to tell no one! How I regretted having listened to her in the first place!  I felt stuck!

Recently in our New Members Sunday school class, the question was posed,

How could you stop gossip in your church?

One of the class members answered that by sharing a story that sounded very similar to my own.  He said,

A lady in a church had issues with her husband.  She came to the church leaders about it.  She told them they could not tell her husband what she had said, and they agreed.  When a third party was brought in to help resolve the problem, he listened to her for about 45 minutes and then said,

Every one of you men need to get on your knees and repent of listening to gossip because that’s what you’ve done.  Without being able to talk to her husband, there’s no solution, and this is only spreading gossip!

How I wish someone had told me that years ago!  The situation I was in with the teen girl taught me to always tell someone who came to me that they could share whatever they wanted, but if there was sin involved, I would take the necessary steps and talk to the people involved so that a biblical solution could be found.

If you want to squelch gossip, don’t listen to it if you’re not a part of the problem, or if you’re not able to help with a solution by telling the necessary people.  That will stop it immediately.  If you don’t listen to it in the first place, you won’t have to worry about repeating it!

I recently read this verse in Psalm 17:3 which could be applied to lots of ways we sin with our mouth, but it certainly applies to gossip:

I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.

I have said that verse OUT LOUD to myself since I penned it in my journal last week!  Sometimes it takes true, intentional and purposeful effort NOT to sin with my mouth by sharing words, and sometimes by not listening to it in the first place!

By the way, in case you’re wondering, the situation with the teen ended by my husband and I meeting with her and explaining that I had been wrong, asking her forgiveness, then letting her know it was her responsibility to tell her parents…or we would have to.  She did.  Whew.  I chalked that one up as a Lesson for Denise!

Refresh your speech and cease from gossip!