Keep your tongue from evil, And your lips from speaking deceit.
(Psalms 34:13 NKJV)
I would like to play with you a "Guess Who"? match. Here is his presentation.
I have no respect for justice. I torment people without killing them. I break my heart and ruin my life. I am smart and mischievous and over the years I become stronger. The more I tell, the more I am believed. I flourish within every social class. My victims are helpless. They cannot protect themselves. I am not identifiable because I have no name and I am faceless. To track me down is impossible. The more you look for me, the more elusive I become. I'm not friends with anyone. I cause sleepless nights, anguish and indigestion. I create suspicion, pain and cause a headache. I make innocent people cry on their pillows. I really like the phone so I move first. I am very rigorous in choosing my collaborators; whoever works for me must have many skeletons in the closet. I find many volunteers who give me a big hand, but I should say language.
I could tell you much more, but I think that's enough because after all ... we all know him very well! His name?
Gossip. That inappropriate and indiscreet chatter aimed at putting someone in a bad light, practically the daily bread of many and the main subject of television schedules and posts on social media. The term could derive (in italian) from the term "pithecus" (monkey) and would refer to the primate act of combing each other. The English "gossip" (gossip) instead goes back to the ancient expression "God-sibb" which literally means "one person connected to another at the behest of God", indicating the particular relationship of two very intimate people, who speak of personal matters, but also of relationships, sharing many secrets. At the root of the gossip there would be something important to relationships. The problem, however, arises when the intimate "fleas" are heralded to third parties with a certain pleasure, almost with taste. This is why the wise man could declare: "The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, And they go down into the inmost body" (Proverbs 26:22 NKJV). In principle, the most gossipy subjects are believed to be those who have an unsatisfactory life on the emotional level. In these cases, slander becomes an opportunity to compensate for other shortcomings, as well as to give vent to resentment.
It is the Psalms, the texts par excellence of the prayers of the person praying, that provide us with the greatest number of indications on the use of the language, the same we use to pronounce praise to our God, but which unfortunately sometimes becomes an affiliated razor (52:2), a sword or bow that strikes bitter arrows (64:3). Thus I urge personal commitment, like the psalmist said: “I will guard my ways, Lest I sin with my tongue; I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle, While the wicked are before me” (39:1). Even when you may have the slightest reason to hurt with your tongue, remember that "The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, And his tongue talks of justice" (37:30). May the Lord help us to reach that maturity as soon as possible which allows us to control that small organ which is in our mouth but capable of great things, our tongue, and which can become a dangerous fire (James 3:5-6). And the moment we find ourselves listening to a rumor, let's not get caught in its net. To discourage the relaunch, it is advisable to change the subject, or if possible highlight the positive qualities of the person that others talk about. We never forget that gossip is not only annoying, it can do a lot of harm. "My tongue shall speak of Your word, For all Your commandments are righteousness" (Psalms 119:172).
Weekly Bible reading plan
February 10, Leviticus 8-10; Matthew 25:31-46
February 11, Leviticus 11-12; Matthew 26:1-25
February 12, Leviticus 13; Matthew 26:26-50
February 13, Leviticus 14; Matthew 26:51-75
February 14, Leviticus 15-16; Matthew 27:1-26
February 15, Leviticus 17-18; Matthew 27:27-50
February 16, Leviticus 19-20; Matthew 27:51-66