Peacemakers or Gossip-spewers?

Written on 07/14/2021
Christian Dunn

Verse: Proverbs 26:20-22

Without wood a fire goes out;
    without a gossip a quarrel dies down.
As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire,
    so is a quarrelsome person for kindling strife.
The words of a gossip are like choice morsels;
    they go down to the inmost parts.

How true is this Proverb?! "The words of a gossip are like choice morsels." What a great way to describe it. When you and I hear gossip, somewhere in our broken selves, we love it. Like pieces of chocolate, those words of gossip are delicious. Why?

First, I think it feels good to be brought into the confidence of another person. It bonds us with them. When someone shares gossip with you, it feels like you are on "the inside" of something. You feel accepted. You feel part of something. The dark side of this, of course, is that in doing this, you are doing the opposite to someone else. You are putting the person you are gossiping about on the outside. 

Second, I think we love to talk about other people's weaknesses. It makes us feel better about ourselves. It makes us feel superior to be able to spend time focusing on the weaknesses of another person, rather than thinking about our own. It also gives us the chance to be judgmental. We would probably never say, "I love to judge others." But if we are honest, there is something satisfying about casting blame and judgment on others.

Third, for some reason it is just fun to know stuff about other people. It gives us some sense of power to know information we wouldn't normally be privy to. 

All of these reasons, and more, are what make gossip so tempting and hard to say no to. They are the "choice morsels" of gossip. 

The dark side of gossip, though, is that it promotes fighting, division, discord, disunity, and most importantly - it hurts another person (even if they don't know about it) who is made in the image of God.

This is why Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:9, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God."

As followers of Jesus are called to be makers of peace. People who speak well of others even when they aren't there. People who end arguments, fix relationships, heal hearts, and speak love. Let this Proverb reveal to you today, why gossip can be so tempting. And also let it show you how damaging it can be. And let's all ask the Lord to help us be peacemakers rather than gossip-spewers.

I pray for self control God when I feel tempted to enter into gossip. Give me the heart of a peacemaker!