On repeating rumors

070226hand_over_mouthRecently I got word that someone who I knew had died and the person that told me had assumed he had died of a heart attack as several members of his family had died of that way. I had recently seen him and taken a picture of he and his wife with my IPhone, so of course upon hearing of his death I took my phone and looked at the picture and was very sad thinking how you never know when your time to die will come. When I heard the news I called another of my family that knew this man and his family and sadly passed on the news of this untimely death. It wasn’t long before I got a telephone call and this family member was laughing so hard I couldn’t understand at first what she was trying to tell me! She had called another member of our family to pass the word and he had called this man’s home to find out about the funeral arrangements. Imagine his surprise to find he was talking to the person who was presumed to be dead! He was quite embarrassed but luckily this guy had a great sense of humor and thought it was very funny! It made me think of a quote by Mark Twain, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated!”

That is just an example of how you cannot take anything you hear, even from someone whom you think is a reliable source, and repeat it!  When I was a young girl I heard a minister tell about a lady who had spread damaging rumors, about another minister and it ruined his ministry. On realizing that what she had told wasn’t true she went to the minster to apologize and asked for his forgiveness. The story goes that he excused himself and came back with a feather pillow, cut a large slit in the covering and held it in front of a fan. Of course the feathers flew everywhere all over the room and out the open window going into the yard with bits of feathers going up into the tall tree. The minister told her that when she brought the pillow back to him with the scattered feathers restored he would forgive her. We know that according to the Word he was wrong in not forgiving her when she asked, and whether this happened exactly this way I cannot say for sure but it makes the point that when you spread a rumor it can travel to the ends of the earth and some of the “feathers” you have scattered will never be able to be retrieved!

Jesus gave us this wise advice: Matthew 7:1-5″Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, and criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor. We all have judged each other by expression, a misspoken word, and generally think the worst!

1Timothy 6:4 If you have leaders who refuse the solid words of our Master Jesus and this godly instruction, tag them for what they are: ignorant windbags who infect the air with germs of envy, controversy, bad-mouthing, suspicious rumors. Eventually there’s an epidemic of backstabbing, and truth is but a distant memory.

What is the conclusion of the matter? Luke 6:37-38 “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, and criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don’t condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity. Don’t let your attitudes cause you to be a dead fly!

Ecclesiastes 10:1 Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savor: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honor.” Be wise and think before you repeat!

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