“Don’t bad-mouth each other, friends. It’s God’s Word, his Message, his Royal Rule, that takes a beating in that kind of talk.” James 4:11.
People love to share juicy gossip–especially if it tears down someone who is perceived to have clout or position. I must admit, it’s easy to get caught up in believing entertaining e-mails or petty posts are legitimate because they are usually well-written and come with “legitimate” pictures and illustrations.
In James 1:19, James explained how to avoid setting getting caught in the gossip trap: “Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear.” Today, he would add, and before spreading sensational news, check Snopes.com or another fact-check site.
When I read an e-mail or Facebook post about someone or an event that sounds far-fetched or out of character, I go into defense mode and dig around to find the real truth. If find the article to be false, I delight in setting the facts straight. Having said that, if I were to read ahead in James, he might tell me it’s not nice to gloat over being a know-it-all.
Lord, help us to share only good news–especially the Good News about Christ. Amen.