Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down. As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome person for kindling strife. Proverbs 26:20-21
Read: Proverbs 26:20-21
Listen: Proverbs 26
Daily life revolved around the fire when Proverbs was written. Maybe the author wrote this section by the light of an evening campfire after seeing a log tossed onto a dying ember. Fresh wood revived roaring flames necessary for cooking and warmth. Conversations and community flowed around the constant glow of a crackling blaze.
There is a way of talking about people that kindles strife, much like adding a log to a flame. In a small group setting, we can share stories about others under the guise of a prayer request. In the office, we may overhear and repeat a conversation that wasn’t for our ears. At the school lunch table, we might want to “spill the tea” about a classmate’s fumble. It’s all fuel for the damaging gossip fire.
We are handed wood each day whether we ask for it or not. God holds us responsible for how we handle the information we obtain about others. If it’s not our property—not our story to share—we should stay quiet. We should let it die if it’s not promoting love, reconciliation or forgiveness. In doing so, we honor God and the people he created.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Write out or type in your mobile these questions from Pastor Jeff Manion’s sermon in week two: Is it humble? Is it true? Is it kind? Post them in a place where you’ll see them often. Use them as a reminder to ask God for help to be wise with your words.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.