Fueling the Fire
Posted by Melissa
Fueling the Fire
Read This Passage: Proverbs 26:20-22
Without wood, fire goes out; without a gossip, conflict dies down. —Proverbs 26:20
FIRE CAN BE an incredible thing. It can warm you up when you’re cold. It can be beautiful to watch as it sparkles in the darkness. It can be fun to just sit and watch as the embers drift toward the sky.
Yet, if you’re not careful, a fire can easily get out-of-control. Let a few embers drift to a dry spot, and before long you have a fire that’s consuming everything around it. All of a sudden what once seemed enjoyable is destructive and scary. In the end, it will leave damage that may take a very long time to repair, if it can be repaired at all. Fire is not something to play with. Fire has a lot of power, and power can become destructive.
Gossip is just like a fire. Oh sure, it may seem innocent and fun at first, but before long, we’ve spoken words that we cannot take back. Gossip hurts people, damages reputations, breaks the community in a cabin, and breaks trust.
Just as Proverbs 26:20 points out, a fire will go out if there is nothing to fuel it. Gossip works the same way. If there is no one there to keep pushing the rumors, feeding the desire, or otherwise fanning the flames, gossip will die down, and so will the conflict and destruction that go along with it.
Today’s key verse points out that we have an active role in stopping this destructive cycle of gossip and conflict. We can choose not to fuel the fire; we can choose to keep our mouths shut!
Choosing to not participate in gossip, walking away, or even confronting those who are gossiping can be tough. You may face ridicule or even rejection from those you count as friends. Yet, when you do what God’s told you to do, He will bless you. You will grow in your walk with Him, and you’ll be a better friend.
Will you choose to follow God’s leading when you hear others participating in gossip? Why or why not?
Read John 21:20-23. Even Jesus’ disciples struggled with gossip. Can you find any other examples of gossip and how we should deal with it in His Word?
Take time to confess any gossip you have participated in. Ask God to show you what He would have you do and to help you stand strong when faced with opportunities to participate in gossip.