Tuesday, December 5, 2017

the Color of Gossip

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

“Green with envy.”

“Red-faced [embarrassment].”

“Black-hearted [cruel].”

“Yellow-bellied [cowardly].”

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. Something that, if you saw a puddle of it on your kitchen counter, you would immediately put on a hazmat suit to avoid any direct contact while disinfecting your entire house. 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” (Prov. 16:28).
The trouble is, while nobody wants the reputation of being the ‘town gossip’, too many of us are still interested in hearing 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 a gossip a quarrel dies down” (Prov. 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 Cor. 12:20).
So, if you value an authentic community of faith, the next time you hear gossip bubbling nearby — or notice a Gossip Addict on a self-righteous high oozing around the church lobby — treat it like a leaky bucket full of radioactive mucus.


You don’t want to get any on you.

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