The artistic works of Norman Rockwell are world-renowned, and I will never forget my visit to his hometown of Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and my stay at The Red Lion Hotel.
One of my favorite Rockwell pictures is "The Gossiper," and it reminds me of the webs that are created and the damage it can do. Romans 1:29-32 reminds us to refrain from gossiping as does 1 Timothy 5:12-13. The gossiper usually has a goal, which is very often to elevate their own position on life's ladder. However, a person allegedly in the know is very often the person not to know. Gossiping is not limited to any gender, and all who engage are invariably breaking a confidence while stirring dissension.
The recipient engages in schadenfreude and relays the bad-news baton to cause the next pair of ears to itch. The book of Proverbs warns us of the dangers and counsels we should guard our mouths and steer away from calamity (Prov. 21:23).
Donald Trump Junior is no stranger to the voice of the gossiper, it seems, but due to the lack of anything derogatory, he was unable to perpetrate something out of nothing. In fairness, we have all been guilty of gossiping, and at best, we should try and refrain. However, there are Christians who love to see others fall or fail, and self-righteousness is the one act which irked Jesus in particular. The Pharisees, then and now, will protect their positions, and a stone here or there thrown by hand or mouth is hewn from the hill of hypocrisy.
If Jesus had been a user of Twitter, He would have tweeted the Lord's Prayer (exactly 140 characters). If email had been around when He lived on earth, no doubt, He would have used it to communicate. However, Jesus had to walk 70-odd miles to the capital, Jerusalem, and He had meetings with all sorts of people from both foreign countries and homelands in order to achieve his goal.
So a word of advice from a British cousin: There's nothing wrong with emailing, tweeting or meeting in person. What we must be careful to guard are our motives, and in doing so, we are protected from on high. Now if you've just read this article, phone a friend or email someone and refer them to read it as well.
It's good to talk; just guard that mouth.
Martin Clarke is a charismatic Christian and London businessman. He often provides Charisma with an international perspective.
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