I like it because it’s warm and cozy. Staring into the flames is peaceful for me. My kids like to stoke the fire and watch it consume the wood.
Every night though, we have to put out the fire. We separate the logs from one another, and tamp it all down.
If we burned a fire all day, the next morning there are still hot coals. When we place a log on them, the fire catches quickly. On a cold morning, that’s exactly what we want!
“Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down,” (Proverbs 26:20, NIV).
It’s interesting that the writer of this Proverb chose fire as a comparison to gossip. If we let them, arguments can become very heated. Words become ugly. Tensions rise. We may even become physically warm.
There is nothing like gossip to fan the flames of a quarrel–moving arguments from private (where they belong), to public. Like a forrest fire on the move, once gossip starts, it’s almost impossible to get under control. It goes wherever the wind takes it.
I certainly don’t assume that anyone reading this willingly spreads gossip, but it is easy to find ourselves tempted to participate. This is where we stop it–at the moment someone begins to share a juicy tidbit. Absolutely, our flesh wants to hear the tale. But our spirit should scream STOP! Quarrels die without gossip.
Our words have the power to give life or to cause death.
“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit,” (Proverbs 18:21, NIV).
Let’s be agents of life!
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