Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Little Birdie Told Me

Has anyone ever told you something that you didn't need to know and would have preferred not to hear? If so, you've been hit by the GR: Gossip Reporter.These reporters live for a "scoop," and pride themselves on being "in the know." Is this a good practice? Not according to Scripture. Consider these problems with being a "GR," also known as a "talebearer:"

1. The GR is betraying someone. "A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter." (Prov. 11:13) It's becoming more and more difficult to find a trustworthy person. In matters of an extremely private nature, the GR is not a good counselor. You may find that your personal information has been "leaked," adding a new layer of problems to your situation. Due to a lack of character, the GR just can't keep a confidence.

2. The GR is stirring up trouble. "Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth." (Prov. 26:20) Bad news travels faster these days, thanks to computers, smartphones and other hand-held devices. People can even hide behind fictitious names, keeping their identity a secret while revealing secrets. These birds are really big chickens.

3. The GR is hurting people. "The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly." (Prov. 18:8 and 26:22) Telling things to people who are not part of the problem nor part of the solution is flat-out gossiping. Unfortunately, there will be disgraceful or shameful events in life, but we don't have to provide the gory details. A desire to repeat information that has nothing to do with us is morbidly twisted, and brings untold pain to the hearers.

4. The GR will give an account to God. "Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbor: I am the Lord." (Levit. 19:16) When God says not to do something but we do it anyway, a chastening is coming. The GR has a countdown clock ticking, and payday is on the way.

This is a very hazardous area, and if you have been a GR, you are reading this so that you can confess, repent and forsake this bad habit. Gossip Reporters are not only hurting others, but they are also providing a poor example for any young people who are listening and observing. Here's the faulty message we send when we gossip in their earshot: "When you grow up, you can gossip just like I do."

The next time a GR comes flitting up to your shoulder and starts sowing the latest weed seeds with a "Did you hear about..." introduction, interrupt the flow of words with this sentence: "I don't need to know." Then change the subject. You will be removed from the "callling list" of the little birdie, and you'll be protecting your spirit from becoming a garbage dump for gossip. There are some things in life that we are better off never knowing. Don't we all have enough problems of our own?

"He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips." 
(Prov. 20:19)

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