Pretty simple, huh?
What if you were used to filling up FREE at every gas station,Â on every corner? It would become a robotic like response and youâ€™d certainly take it for granted that thatâ€™s the way it ought to be.
But then, what if your perfect little Texaco world came to an end all at once? One day, you set out from your home with about a quarter tank and decide to stop at the closest gas station on the closest corner. This place has always accommodated you for free in the past, but today there are bags on all the pumps and they arenâ€™t offering gas.
No problem. Remember?
You can get your fuel for FREE at every gas station on every corner.
Only problem is, you get to the next gas station on the next corner and youâ€™re met with the same thingâ€”bags on the pumps and no gas. In fact, this place even has a sign out that says,
â€œWe will no longer have gas available here. We donâ€™t believe in it anymore. You know, global warming and all.â€
By now youâ€™re both angry and a little concerned. Youâ€™ve grown used to filling up for free at every gas station on every corner. In fact, truth be told. ALL your friends have been filling up for free at every gas station on every corner as well.
So you grab your iphone and call one of themâ€”a real good friend, because he happens to own one of the gas stations on one of the corners that has been letting you fill up for freeâ€”for years! So you speed dial the dude.
You: â€œHello, Joe?â€
You: â€œYouâ€™re not going to believe this butâ€”â€
Joe: â€œSave your breath, ___________, I know what youâ€™re calling about and youâ€™re wasting your time. Iâ€™m not letting you fill up anymore. Iâ€˜ve had a change of heart. In fact, I wonâ€™t even sell the stuff. Iâ€™m done with it. Especially where youâ€™re concerned. I think youâ€™ll find all of us feel the same.â€
Yeah, devastating, huh? I mean, your whole way of life has got to change. You only have a quarter tank left, and then, youâ€™re out of gas.
Ok, stupid story, admittedly, but I want you to think of something else and apply this to it.
Gossip is a lot like fuel. It can power some of the mightiest wrecking machines on the planet. It can power steamrollers capable of flattening even the most pristine reputation. Itâ€™s the stuff that fuels rockets capable of blasting holes in even the most mega sized church.
And it comes in several varieties. Thereâ€™s jet fuel, made from jealousy. Thereâ€™s rocket fuel to roast reputations.Â Thereâ€™s wood for burning people at the stake. Thereâ€™s gas forâ€”
Well, Iâ€™m sure you get the picture. Iâ€™ve already pushed this thing far beyond ludicrous. But hereâ€™s what I donâ€™t want you to miss. Without fuel, even the mightiest machines that need it to run will eventuallyâ€¦
Gossip causes damage. Period. Proverbs says, Mean people spread mean gossip; their words smart and burn. In fact, there are dozens and dozens of verses in the Bible about the tremendous destructive power of gossip. Here are just a few more:
A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends. Proverbs 16:28
A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much. Proverbs 20:19
Others may accuse you of gossip, and you will never regain your good reputation. Proverbs 25:10
As the north wind brings rain, telling gossip brings angry looks. Proverbs 25:23
Don’t bad-mouth your leaders, not even under your breath, And don’t abuse your betters, even in the privacy of your home. Loose talk has a way of getting picked up and spread around. Little birds drop the crumbs of your gossip far and wide. Ecclesiastes 20:10
They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, Romans 1:29
See, there are a lot!
Now some good news. Gossip is just like any other type of fuel. Remove it and the destructive fires will eventually burn out. Emphasis on â€œeventually.â€ A lot of times people will try to turn over a new leaf and give up gossip to see if it really does make a difference. But the first rumor they hear about themselves and they drop their resolution and start throwing fuel back on the fire.
Thatâ€™s a shame. Had they stood their ground, the fires would have eventually burned out. Look at this verse,
Without wood a fire goes out;Â without gossip a quarrel dies down. Proverbs 26:20
See what I mean?!
Maybe youâ€™ve seen the damage gossip can do to people and you wish you couldÂ remove all of it from your life. Good news, you can. It starts byÂ taking your log from the fire and refusing to put any more on there.
And while youâ€™re at it, it wouldnâ€™t be a bad idea to put a sign out letting people know that you are now a â€œgossip free zone.â€
Oh, and be prepared to wait it out. That car with a quarter tank might be a Toyota Prius Hybrid. That means they still have about 200 miles worth of gossip to keep them going before they will run out of gas.
Just some thoughts.