5 Minute Read

Be Still

To the best of your ability, get rid of all distractions. Take a couple of minutes to breathe deeply, to quiet yourself in the Lord’s presence. Then, prayerfully ask the Lord to speak to you in this time and let Him know that you will be listening and will make whatever adjustments He will reveal to you.

Today’s Bible Reading:

Lamentations 1:1–2:22
Philemon 1:1-25
Psalm 101:1-8
Proverbs 26:20

Listen to the Lord

Slowly and reflectively read the following verses and listen to what God will say to you through them. Then, consider writing down any insights He reveals to you.

Proverbs 26:20 (NLT): “Fire goes out without wood, and quarrels disappear when gossip stops.”

Reflections from Scripture:

In Proverbs 26:20, we read a wise saying that compares one thing to the other. The first word-picture that is mentioned is this: “Fire goes out without wood.”

That is easy to understand, isn’t it? If there is no wood, a fire burns out. If you want a fire to keep going, add wood. It’s really that simple.

Then, Proverb 26:20 compares it to something else: “And quarrels disappear when gossip stops.”

Do you want quarrels to stop? Then stop the gossip. Do you want quarrels to keep going? Then keep gossiping.

It’s really that easy. Gossip is like wood on a fire that keeps the fiery quarreling going. Christians who are serious about following Jesus should be engaged in neither quarreling nor gossip.

Let’s end by defining our terms. What is gossip? It seems that gossip is when we say something bad about someone else (it may be either true or false) to someone who doesn’t need to know.

Are you guilty of that? Then please stop because it is something that the Lord absolutely despises. Read the following verses where it tells us of the things that the Lord hates, paying special attention to the final item on the list.

Proverbs 6:16-19 (NLT): “There are six things the LORD hates — no, seven things he detests: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family.”

Spend Time in Prayer

Lord Jesus, the tensions in the world around us seem to be at a very high level. Help me not add to that tension in my neck of the woods by talking badly about anyone behind their back with people who don’t need to hear of my negative reflections. I pray this in Your Name, Amen.

Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by Vitolda Klein on Unsplash