Wednesday, January 19, 2011
As a young boy in Sunday School I remember playing a game called Telephone. It was a fun game, not so much in the playing as in the results that came from playing it.
The class sat in a big circle and the teacher whispered a sentence into the ear child next to her. Then than child turned and whispered it into the ear of the child next to her and on and on it went until the last child whispered it into the teacher’s ear. The funny part came when the first child repeated what the teacher had originally whispered and the last child repeated what had been whispered into his ear. The teacher had said something like, “The cows are all brown today.” And the last little boy said he had heard something like, “Aardvarks have
for born in Grammar school.” New York
But the fun doesn’t stop there. The best part was when we went around the room to find out how the sentence had changed so much. The first child said it correctly, but the second heard something about “pows” instead of “cows.” But that didn’t make any sense, so he said, “owls.” Then “owls” didn’t make any sense to the third kid and she didn’t hear “brown.” Instead she thought the second child had said something about the “ground.” But the “owls being ground” didn’t make sense, so she just made up a completely new sentence and passed it along. And it went on like that from there.
It’s a pretty funny game, but it illustrates why Gossip is such an insidious sin. Our culture calls it “spin,” but it is really simply telling stories about other people when you don’t have, don’t remember, or don’t care about the facts. Gossip doesn’t matter whether the truth is involved, and 98 % of the time it isn’t. It doesn’t matter if what you are saying is good about the person you are talking about. The point of gossip is that you are talking about someone else to someone who doesn’t need to know.
The Bible says this about people who gossip: They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them (Rom 1:29-32).