As a child, I recall a strange ornament an old lady had on her mantle. It was three monkeys. One with his hands over his mouth, the other with his hands over his eyes, the other with his hands over his ears.
It wasn’t the fact that they were monkey I thought strange. It was the puzzling gestures; I couldn’t understand what it all meant despite the caption being “Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.”
It was some years later that I discovered the wisdom intended. Now, more than ever, there is a desperate need for young and old to counteract the tendency to gossip or slander. Many Young people have taken their lives or fallen into depression or simply refused to return to school because of spread rumours.
Now why do people gossip? Sometimes it’s innocent, it may be curiosity. Some gossip to raise their self-esteem. After all, by putting others down, you raise yourself due to pride. Some gossip to be accepted by the group. Some gossip because of hatred or malicious intent.
The Bible book of James sends out a solemn warning that those who indulge in gossip or slander have no relationship with God:
If you find yourself in such a toxic environment, turn around and walk away. It’s not so easy if it’s the family, the congregation or the workplace, friends or the internet, but make every effort to avoid being drawn in or being hurt by such ones. Additionally, search yourself and ask, “Have I hurt my neighbour by gossiping?” If so, correct it. James showed that your relationship with God is otherwise hindered.
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