4 January 2022

Proverbs 26:20

Without wood a fire goes out;
    without a gossip a quarrel dies down.

There is great power in talk. It only takes a few words to create a fire. A few words can enrage, humiliate, scandalize, create dissension. A few words can break up friendships and loyalties, cast suspicion on people of integrity. A few words can spread trouble like winds spreading a wildfire.

In like manner, there is great power in silence. The spark that needs the wind to turn into flames dies out. The fire that has begun burns itself out. All you have to do is not spread the words. Such inaction is effective, not only because you are not a conduit, but because you set the tone for others to follow. The whisperer loses his boldness when you do not respond. The excitement of gossip loses its energy when you do not join in.

There is a thrill to spreading gossip that needs others to join in. Refuse to join and you ruin the “fun” of the other gossipers. Don’t become a whisperer. Your very inaction will make you a powerful firefighter.


Psalm 142

I cry aloud to the Lord;
    I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy.
I pour out before him my complaint;
    before him I tell my trouble.

When my spirit grows faint within me,
    it is you who watch over my way.
In the path where I walk
    people have hidden a snare for me.
Look and see, there is no one at my right hand;
    no one is concerned for me.
I have no refuge;
    no one cares for my life.

I cry to you, Lord;
    I say, “You are my refuge,
    my portion in the land of the living.”

Listen to my cry,
    for I am in desperate need;
rescue me from those who pursue me,
    for they are too strong for me.
Set me free from my prison,
    that I may praise your name.
Then the righteous will gather about me
    because of your goodness to me.