Links Daily Devotional

Changing the Conversation: From Gossip to Truth

For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, contention quiets down. (Proverbs 26:20)

When my fellow Links Player sent me the text, “Question on changing the conversation… from what to what?” several phrases quickly came to mind. One of those was from gossip to truth.

Truth spoken in love is a great antidote for gossip.As a golfer you may have heard some gossip where you play. It might have been about what is going on with the course or with the pro or with the restaurant or with some other member. You might hear such talk on the course, in the bar, or even in the locker room. It can show up anywhere.

If you conduct a New Testament word search for gossip(s), you will find five instances referring to people as gossips and only one instance referring to the practice of gossip. Three of the five are Paul writing to Titus and to Timothy that women should not be “malicious gossips.” The Greek word is diabolos, which means “false accuser.” The other 34 times that Greek word is used in the New Testament it is translated “devil.” Shudder!

Another place in Timothy, Paul used a word we translate as gossips that literally means “babblers.” But perhaps the most insidious of them all is the word Paul uses in Romans 1:29 and 2 Corinthians 12:20, the word that means “whisperer.”

In Greek the beginning of this word sounds like “psst,” and for all I know that’s where psst came from. But the point is that this kind of gossip, this “whispering,” is condemned right alongside slander and arrogance.

So how do we change the conversation? The first answer is given in Proverbs: the fire goes out when there is no wood. If you refuse to pass gossip along, the fire will die. In fact, if you refuse to participate it won’t be long until people will stop sharing gossip with you, and they may just stop sharing it altogether.

The second answer is found in Ephesians 4:15, and the phrase there is “speaking the truth in love.” It is a passage about maturing as a believer, no longer being children and listening to deceitful scheming. Truth spoken in love is a great antidote for gossip.

If people want to play golf with you because you know the latest gossip, or are willing to listen to gossip, let me recommend that you work on your golf. It’s far better to play that game at the club and the gossip game not at all. Change the conversation.

Lewis Greer
September 6, 2016
Copyright 2016 Links Players International
The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at www.linksplayers.com.

OTHER DEVOTIONS IN THIS SERIES
Changing the Conversation: From What to What?
Changing the Conversation: From Temporal to Eternal
Changing the Conversation: From Surface to Substance
Changing the Conversation: From Political to Spiritual
Changing the Conversation: From Me to Others