Spiritual Practice

Gotta Know!

Wesley Overhults

In any store in the U. S., you are likely to find a magazine rack filled with the latest celebrity gossip. As a society, we have an insatiable desire to know the intimate details of the private lives of famous people. Yet our curiosity doesn’t end with celebrities; we listen to and spread rumors about others, even our own friends. We may think it’s harmless gossip, but gossip can easily destroy a person’s reputation and possibly a life.

Do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed, so that what you say will do good to those who hear you.
Ephesians 4:29 (GNT)

The problem with gossip is that it’s too easy. A friend tells me some juicy piece of information, and I want to pass it along to another friend. Before I know it, I’m gossiping! And even if the information is true, sharing it may damage someone’s reputation.

I’ve decided to stop worrying so much about other people’s business and to start focusing on my own. Instead of using my words to tear down others, I’m trying to use them to build up people. Won’t you join me?

Build Up: Just because something is true doesn’t mean that repeating it isn’t gossip. How can you use your words to “build up” others and to “do good to those who hear” what you say?

—from devozine (January/February 2012). Copyright © 2011 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved.
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