How to Start a Deadly Fire

Whispering gossip is powerful. It doesn’t just bounce off the surface but is delicious like candy to those who hear it, and if consumed, it will “go into the innermost part of the body.” It becomes a part of them, false or true. To them, it’s the truth, and they begin to live in light of what they’ve heard, and you can’t change their minds. I’ve seen more churches destroyed through gossip than almost anything.

Years ago, I ministered with a traveling team. Holly and I and our family lived in a trailer, but the single team members stayed in the homes of church members.

 One of our team members burned up part of a church member’s house. When I asked him what happened, he said, “Well, I was grilling out on their grill, and I just took the charcoals and threw them in a trash can by the edge of the house, and I guess, somehow, it caught on fire and then caught the house on fire.”

 “Was there anything in the trash can?” I asked.

 “No,” he said, “It was just filled with dry leaves.”

The Worst Kind of Fire

Fire can be deadly and destructive. But something else is even more dangerous: gossip from a contentious man or woman.

 Like charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire, so is a contentious man to kindle strife. The words of a whisperer are like dainty morsels, and they go down into the innermost parts of the body. (Proverbs 26:21-22)

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