Put the Fire Out
"Without wood, fire goes out; without a gossip, conflict dies down." — Proverbs 26:20
One of the most damaging aspects of sports today doesn’t happen on the field. The media, team members, and many others all take part in this meaningless act. It is called gossip. People love to tear something or someone apart with their words. They would rather say what they heard about others than search for the truth. I have seen more teams ruined by gossip than by performance.
Christians don’t gossip, do they? Never. Not in my church. Wait a minute. Why is it that so many prayer requests turn into thirty-minute intervals of tearing down a person? Yes, Christians do gossip, both men and women, and when they are called on it, a fight usually breaks out. You hear, “I never said that” or “It will be a long time before I pray for them again” or “Even if it isn’t totally true, they don’t belong here at my church.”
As we all know, if you don’t fuel a fire, it will go out. Likewise, if we do not gossip, fights and quarrels will go away as well. Think before you speak. Gossip, even with the best intentions in mind, will cut like a knife—and those wounds run deep.
Next time you’re in the locker room and want to share a juicy tidbit about someone, keep it to yourself. Never share something with someone else when you don’t know the whole story. We are all guilty of this at times. Put the fire of gossip out by not allowing it to continue. In doing this you will see people for who they truly are, not what others say about them. Remember, a fire will go out quickly if you stop putting wood on it.
1. Are you a fire-starter or a fire-stopper?
2. Do you find it easy to engage in idle gossip about others?
3. Today, how can you start putting out the fires of gossip in your sphere of influence?
Extra Reading: Proverbs 11:13; 16:28; 20:19; Ephesians 5:4; 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Father, I pray that my words will be used to build and encourage people rather than to discourage them and tear them down. Amen.