A lady once went to talk with her minister about her troubled conscience. After some discussion, he said that her problem was gossip. She quite often maligned people behind their back, which is clearly prohibited in Scripture.
“What can I do to make amends?” the lady asked.
“Place a feather on the doorstep of every person you have gossiped about in the past month. Then come back to me for further instructions.”
After she completed her task, the lady came back to the minister and asked, “All right, what do I do next?”
“Go back to each doorstep,” he replied, “and collect all the feathers you left there.”
The lady came back empty-handed. “The wind blew all the feathers away,” she reported.
“So it is with gossip,” the wise minster said. “Once those hurtful words are spoken, they can never be taken back again.”
You can be forgiven for the sin of gossip, but you can’t always repair the damage that has been done by the hurtful words you utter.
“A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.”—Proverbs 16:28.