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Gossip-Free Zone

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  READ: Proverbs 25:8-18

A man who bears false witness against his neighbor is like a club, a sword, and a sharp arrow. —Proverbs 25:18

In some offices, you can get fired for
gossiping. According to a 2002 survey, the average employee gossips 65
hours a year. One Chicago firm decided to become a “gossip-free zone.”
They require that employees never talk badly about co-workers behind
their backs. If you’re caught, you lose your job.

A ministry for
people in the entertainment industry takes a refreshing alternative to
gossip. They combat it with prayer. Instead of putting down famous
people who get in trouble with bad choices, they encourage people to
pray for them.

Among God’s commands to His people is “You shall
not bear false witness against your neighbor” (Ex. 20:16). While this
may be talking primarily about lying at judicial proceedings, gossip
could also be included in the command because it violates the law of
love toward our neighbor. Proverbs uses strong language to describe
this use of our words. It’s like “a club, a sword, and a sharp arrow”
against others (25:18).

Gossip feeds into our natural desires to
feel superior to others and to belong or fit in, so combating it in our
personal lives can be a challenge. But if we choose to love through
prayer, our lives can be a gossip-free zone.  — Anne Cetas

Lord, forgive us for speaking carelessly
about others to make ourselves look better.
Help us to think before we speak. Teach us
to be loving with our words. Amen.

You can never justify gossip.

Our Daily Bread

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