The Rumor Mill
18 Like a maniac shooting
flaming arrows of death
19 is one who deceives their neighbor
and says, “I was only joking!”
20 Without wood a fire goes out;
without a gossip a quarrel dies down.
21 As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire,
so is a quarrelsome person for kindling strife.
22 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels;
they go down to the inmost parts.
I remember growing up in school and then somebody would make fun of me, laugh and then say that they were just kidding. They would do the same thing, bumping into me and knocking me into the ground and say that they didn’t see me. The one thing that any student would fear is having someone maliciously lying and starting a rumor about you that is not true. I didn’t worry about it over 30 years ago, but today’s children need to battle this issue on a daily basis. There are kids with phones and they have WiFi access with the ability to chat and post to the social sites. With a little creativity, they can make a fake story about someone and post it online. It can drive some kids to suicide.
A person who gossips and lies may not learn to stop doing this as they grow older. This character trait can creep into their work and into their family where they joke around and poke fun at others so that they can get a kick out of it. At work or post-secondary school, there is a chance that gossip and rumors can start on a colleague that is not justified. This is where we can laugh and enjoy the putting down of others or walk away and speak about how inappropriate it is to talk so badly about somebody behind their back. This is where we can lean respect and kindness even if someone doesn’t deserve it.