Martin Luther had much to say about gossip and its terrible by-products. Luther pointed out that when we gossip we are doing Satan's chores for him. He related an incident of a couple so happily married that it was the talk of the town. The devil couldn't cause disharmony between them, but he finally hit upon the trick: he sent an old hag to the wife to tell her that her husband was having an affair with another woman and he planned to kill her. The hag told her that she would find a knife under her husband's pillow. She then hurriedly went to the husband with the same terrible tale. Unfortunately for the wife, the husband found her knife first, and that was the end of the town's happiest marriage.
There are several vital lessons here: malicious tongues kill; Satan is behind the vicious tongue; trust your partner; and, above all, check your sources.
Gossip is verbal interest in the failings of others rather than their feelings. Our own faults should keep us busy enough praying to a forgiving and forgetting Father and offering prayers of thanksgiving that He so willingly overlooks our own many ma practices of tongue.
"I take it as a matter not to be disputed, that if all knew what each said of the other, there would not be four friends in the world. This seems proved by the quarrels and disputes caused by the disclosures which are occasionally made" (Pascal). Busybodies are parasites who go about stinging the innocent with veiled but spiteful venom. Let us beware of the one who is busy with everyone else's business. Paul gives excellent advice to Timothy: "Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge. . ." (1 Timothy 6:20).
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
The Vicious Tongue
Posted by Patricia Erwin Nordman at 6:00 AM