The Effects of Gossip

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.


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Give Me a Break!

A lady who worked in a huge office building took a break and walked down to the cafeteria. There she bought a cup of coffee and a Kit Kat candy bar. After finding an empty chair in the crowded cafeteria, she bent over to look for something in her purse. When she straightened back up, she found that a man had taken a seat across the table from her. He had a cup of coffee and a donut in front of him…and her Kit Kat bar in his mouth! He didn’t apologize or offer any explanation. He simply ate it.

She was shocked and irritated, but the lady said nothing. She drank her cup of coffee as quickly as she could, in a hurry to remove herself from this extremely awkward situation. However, the more she thought about it, the angrier she became. Finally, as she stood up to leave, she grabbed the remnant of the man’s donut and stuffed it in her mouth. Swallowing the donut, she exclaimed, “There! Now how does that feel?”

The lady marched back to her office, where she once again opened her purse. To her horror, there in her purse was her Kit Kat bar!

Let’s be careful we have our facts straight! And let us not rush to judgment too quickly!

“Do not accuse anyone for no reason—when they have done you no harm.”—Proverbs 3:30.

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I have a friend—let’s call him “John Doe”—who told me the following story.

John Doe went into the woods behind his house to do some deer hunting on his property. As he approached his deer stand, he saw that a hunter was already there, someone whom he did not know. He asked the man what he was doing there, and the hunter replied, “I have permission from John Doe to hunt here.”

John introduced himself to the hunter and politely sent him on his way.

Those who know Jesus as their savior have permission to come into the presence of God. Unlike those who pretend to know him, we have no fear of being exposed as intruders.

“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”—Hebrews 4:16


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Maybe It Does Matter!

While driving through the south, we saw a sign for a restaurant that was called “It Don’t Matter”. It didn’t take long to figure out the purpose for this strange name. Often times when we are out with family or friends, trying to decide where to eat, someone will invariably say, “It don’t matter”. (Please pardon the poor grammar!) What they mean is they really don’t care where they eat; anything would be OK. The restaurant with the catchy name is trying to get some business by literally being the place that is mentioned.

When it comes to eating out, most of the time it really doesn’t matter where you choose to go. Any place is fine with most people. However, there are some decisions in life that do matter. They matter very much. In fact, when it comes to what you believe about God, Jesus and the Bible—those decisions are critical!

“…I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him…”—Deuteronomy 30:19-20.


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Let Us Pray

A city-slicker went to the countryside to visit his cousin, who owned and operated a farm. When they sat down to the table for dinner, the farmer bowed his head and gave thanks for the meal. His sophisticated relative said with a condescending tone, “This is old-fashioned. Nobody with an education prays before meals anymore.”

The farmer agreed that the practice was indeed old-fashioned, and admitted that there were even some on his farm who did not pray before their meals.

With smug satisfaction, the cousin remarked, “So enlightenment is finally reaching the farm! Who are these wise individuals of whom you speak?”

The farmer replied, “My pigs.”

To be truly human, one must pray.

“Pray continually.”—1 Thessalonians 5:17


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Choose the Good Path

A man and his son were climbing a mountain. They came to a place where the climbing became quite difficult, to the point of being dangerous. Any misstep at this point could spell disaster. The father stopped to consider which way he should go. From below he heard his son call out, “Choose the good path, Dad; I’m coming right behind you!”

These words should ring in the ears of every father! Dads everywhere should be very careful about the path they choose for themselves, because their children often follow right behind.

“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”—1 Corinthians 11:1.


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The Agony of Fatherhood

A young father-to-be was pacing back and forth, wringing his hands in the hospital corridor while his wife was in labor. He was tied up in knots of fear and anxiety, and beads of perspiration dropping from his brow revealed the agony of his suffering. Finally, at 4:00am, a nurse popped out of a door and said, “Well, sir, you have a little girl.” He dropped his hands, became limp, and said, “Oh, how I thank God it’s a girl! She’ll never have to go through the awful agony I’ve been through tonight!”

Let’s hope that his wife never got word of his comment!

It is tough being a father. Let’s be thankful for all the dads out there, and be sure to say a special prayer for them this Father’s Day.

“Honor your father…”—Exodus 20:12.



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Train Approaching!

A few days ago I was picking raspberries near the railroad track behind my house when I heard a train approaching. I wasn’t able to move very far away from the tracks, so I was close enough to sense the power of the train as it barreled by me.

Only a fool would have stood in the middle of the tracks and dared the train to run them down. No one can stand against the power of a moving train.

The Bible clearly states that the wrath of God will someday be unleashed on all who ignore his warnings. No one will be able to stand against God when that time comes. No one!

“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.”—Romans 1:18-19.


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Don’t Play Around with Snakes!

Milo Sutcliffe and his wife, Jennifer, were working in their yard in Corpus Christi, Texas on May 27 when they encountered a four-foot-long rattlesnake. Milo cut off the snake’s head with a shovel, but when he bent down to pick it up, the snake bit him. Jennifer immediately called 911 and then drove Milo to the hospital. He survived the ordeal, but suffered seizures, internal bleeding and loss of vision from the snake’s venom. You need to be careful around poisonous snakes!

The Bible describes the devil as a dangerous serpent. Satan is not to be taken lightly. We must take every precaution to avoid this deadly snake.

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”—James 4:7.


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That Ugly Tongue

For some time now, we have had a beef tongue in our freezer. My wife was reluctant to cook it, much less consume it. OK, she outright refused! Since I am a thrifty (miserly?) person, I was hesitant to throw the tongue away. I thought that someday I would cook it and eat it myself. I have never had beef tongue, but I am usually quite willing to try new things.

Finally, my window of opportunity arrived. My wife was going to be out of town for a few days, so I took the tongue out of the freezer to thaw. I would cook it and eat it while she was away. It seemed like the perfect plan.

However, when it came time to get down to business, I just couldn’t do it. I looked at that monstrous tongue and I couldn’t imagine eating it. No part of me even wanted to prepare it, much less consume it. I threw the ugly tongue away.

The Bible often warns us that the human tongue can be quite ugly. Many of the Proverbs teach against the improper use of the tongue. James 3:1-12 is a lengthy passage that depicts the danger of a tongue out of control. It likens the untamed tongue to a spark that sets a great forest on fire. Careless words can do a catastrophic amount of damage. James 3:8 says that the tongue “…is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.”

Some people are quick to point out the sins of others, but, ironically, they don’t realize that their gossiping tongue puts them on the same biblical “sin list” as the people they abhor! Romans 1 warns against many kinds of deviant sins, one of which is gossip (v.29). 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 contains a list of sins that will keep people out of the kingdom of God if that is their unrepentant lifestyle. Notice that “slanderers” is on that list. If you don’t want to spend eternity with some truly awful people, you had better be careful not to have an ugly tongue!

James 1:26 says, “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.” If you want to have a valuable faith in Jesus Christ, you can’t have an ugly tongue!


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