The story goes something like this. Mrs. X went crazy last night. She ran out during a full moon, ripped her clothes off, and danced in the moonlight. Then she saw the neighbor leave the pickup truck running when he got out. She jumped in and started careening wildly through the streets. She plowed into signs, mailboxes, and fences. Then the naked rider gently drove back, parked the neighbor’s truck, went in her house, and told her husband she went for a walk.
That story is so outrageous that hardly anyone believes it. Or do they? Those who hear will never look at Mrs. X in quite the same way again. They will always entertain that nagging doubt, did she or didn’t she?
What about this story, a more believable one?
Mr. Z held a yard sale all of last week. He sold tons of stuff and more always appeared. Someone claimed he fenced stolen goods. Soon everyone buzzed about Mr. Z being a thief and a criminal.
People who heard this never quite trusted Mr. Z again even though he was a pillar of the community for many years. Idle gossip ruined his reputation, perhaps forever.
Mrs. B lives in a small town with her husband and two small boys. Her brother lives in the apartment upstairs.
Someone starts a rumor that Mrs. B is not really married to her husband. They further state that she is in love with her brother and that he fathered the two children. People start shunning her and the children. They make up other stories about her peccadilloes and shortcomings. Soon child services became involved, casting more suspicions on her life and failings.
Some idle gossip and rumors got out of hand and ruined the lives and social standings of five innocent people.
These stories are based on true to life cases about which I heard the sordid details, some circumstances altered to protect the innocent.
What the Bible Says
No wonder that God hates gossip! The Bible refers to gossip and rumor mongering many times.
An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. : Proverbs 6:17-19 KJV
What about you?
What will you decide?
Do you choose to spread gossip, lies, and rumors? Or do you choose to honor God by uplifting and edifying others, as His word often commands?