Gossip Lasts Longer and Travels Further Than You Intended
One of the truly heartbreaking results of gossip is that, while it is so easy to do, and comes so naturally, it causes hardships far and wide – further and wider than we ever thought. Here is an excerpt from Kent Hughes commentary on Acts on the difficulty gossip presents for the gossiper, the one gossipee, and the bystanders of both:
In an eastern land, a woman repeated a bit of gossip about a neighbor, and within a short time the whole town knew the story.
The slandered person was deeply hurt and most unhappy.
But then the lady responsible for spreading the rumor learned that it was completely untrue, so she went to a wise old sage to find out what she could do to repair the damage.
After listening to her problem, he said, “Go to the market place, purchase a fowl, and have it killed. Then on your way home pluck its feathers one by one and drop them along the path!” Though surprised by this unusual advise, the woman did as she was told.
The next day she informed the man that she had done as instructed. “Now go and collect all those feathers and bring them back to me,” the sage said.
The lady followed the same path, but to her dismay the wind had blown all the feathers away. After searching all day long, she returned with only two or three in hand.
“You see,” said the old wise man, “It is easy to drop them, but impossible to bring them all back. Likewise, it does not take much to spread a false rumor, but you can never completely undo the wrong.” We Christians must take this to heart!