Multi-Hued Gossip

You’ve probably heard that certain emotions have been assigned their very own signature color:

  • Green [envy].
  • Red-faced [shame/embarrassment].
  • Black-hearted [malicious/cruel].
  • Yellow-bellied [cowardly].

But can anyone tell me which color is best for gossip?

I’m leaning toward a darker, murkier shade of yellow. The base color being yellow makes sense, because gossip is a cowardly attack — a verbal form of stabbing someone in the back. But it should be darker than normal, methinks, perhaps a pool of vomitous sludge.

In other words, if you saw a puddle of it on your kitchen floor, you’d immediately don a hazmat suit while disinfecting your house from attic to crawlspace. After all, it’s pure poison — toxic enough to destroy friendships and community.

“A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends (Proverbs 16:28).”

The trouble is, while nobody wants the “town gossip” reputation, too many of us are willing to listen to what they have to say. Let’s get real about this: if we listen to gossip, we’re participating in it.

“Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down (Proverbs 26:20).”

Gossip is known by its fruit. It comes in bundles, like software, usually packaged with its closest relatives: “I fear that there may be discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder (2 Corinthians 12:20).”

So, if you value an authentic faith community, the next time you hear a gossip cesspool bubbling nearby — or notice a Gossip Addict on a self-righteous high oozing around the church lobby — treat it like a leaky bucket of radioactive mucus.

Run. You don’t want to get any on you.

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