The Snake That Poisons Everyone

It topples governments, wrecks marriages, ruins careers, destroys reputations, causes nightmares, spawns suspicion, and generates grief. Even its name hisses. It’s called gossip. Before you repeat a story, ask yourself: Is it true? Is it fair? Is it necessary? If not, forget it.

-Quoted in the First Christian, Fairfield, IL.


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Several years ago, Ann Landers printed in her column a poem that depicts Gossip
speaking. Among other things, Gossip says, “I maim without killing. I
break hearts and ruin lives. The more I am quoted, the more I am believed. My
victims are helpless. They cannot protect themselves because I have no name and
no face. Once I tarnish a reputation, it is never quite the same. I make
innocent people cry in their pillows. Even my name hisses.”


Illustration by J. Michael Shannon, Professor of Preaching, Cincinnati Bible
College & Seminary, Cincinnati, OH.

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