July 3

Written by Bill Grandi on July 3rd, 2020

I think one of the hardest things as a pastor is trying to help people and them either not accepting it or continuing to struggle. One of the most difficult things to overcome is anger, especially that which is caused by betrayal or insensitivity. Or worst of all, by gossip.

That last one is an ugly poison, a cancer that afflicts many organizations, but is especially devastating to a church. I remember reading about an old Quaker pastor who had one insidious lady in his church who loved to gossip. But one time her gossip ruined people. She came into the pastor’s office to apologize and ask what she can do to make it right. He gave her a bag of feathers and said to go outside and release them. She did. When she was done, and thought all was well, she asked him what she was to do next. He told her to go around and pick up all the feathers. “That’s impossible. They’re scattered all over!” And he said, “So are your words and you’ll never be able to take them all back.”

  • There are mean people out there in this world. Don’t tolerate them.
  • There are self-righteous, opinionated people in this world. Dismiss them.
  • There are gossipy people in this world. Rebuke them.
  • There are evil people in this world. Avoid them.

Know what is ever sadder? Many of those people are so-called “Christians.” (Yeah, you saw the change from Christ-follower to “Christians”).  Gossip N.E.V.E.R. heals or helps. It always hurts and destroys. Even gossips sometimes tell the truth, even if it hurts. Or is that especially if that hurts. I had one who justified her gossip with “I told the truth” to which I said, “Why say anything at all?”

James 3 says our tongue is a flame that quickly gets out of control. Oh, what tragedy is wrought when a fire gets out of control. Oh, what tragedy and damage is wrought when a tongue gets out of control.

“Father, words can be used for good or for evil. May my words bring healing to others and glory to You in all things.”



4 Comments so far ↓

  1. Wow! The story of the feathers really drives that point home! I have to try and remember that one. Excellent post. Convicting, because I was very guilty of that same thing. I worked long and hard to eradicate gossip from my life. Every now and then there is a pull on me to “share” with someone…What a stronghold to battle against. Sometimes I win, sometimes I do not. Thank you, Bill, for the reminder of how damaging it is. God forgive me and strengthen my resolve.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      It is a constant battle Diane…for all. The important thing is to keep bringing it to the Father for help and strength (and forgiveness).

  2. I will long remember that feathers story, Bill. Gossip, even if it is “true,” just needs to stop before it starts. If we have a “beef” with someone, we should approach them kindly and gently, and confront them in love and understanding.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I’m with you Martha on the story and especially on taking the “beef” to the person.