Here’s a riddle to begin with: I’m longed for by my adoring parents, then I’m frequently hushed by those same parents and then finally, at the other end of life, I’m one of the very last things to be lost. What am I? If you’re still struggling have a look at these Bible verses:
“…the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
…no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.” James 3 verses 5-10
The Bible word for slander is ‘diabolos’ from which, in English, we get ‘diabolical’, something which is devilish. No less than 34 times this is used as a title for Satan who is the arch-accuser or slanderer. How many times have you gossiped and then confirmed it with the words: “Well, of course, there’s no smoke without fire”.
Perhaps, if the truth be known, your own tongue was the spark that made the fire! Whenever we gossip – we should remember that this is categorised as ‘diabolos’ and we are in effect doing the devil’s work. Next time you’re about to gossip bite your tongue and say of it “You’re a little devil”!