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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Renée Miller

Monday, August 17

The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body.
—Proverbs 18:8

Everyone has had the experience of wanting just one taste of a delicious food. We may be content,having just finished a meal, and yet we're immediately tantalized when a plate of dessert suddenly makes it to the table. It takes every ounce of willpower to deny snatching a bite. And if one, why not two or three? It goes down so easily and is so tasty.

When we've been told some interesting tidbit about someone else, we feel the same urge to indulge ourselves as we feel when we see the plate of desserts. We can't seem to restrain ourselves. We don't imagine that it can be very damaging to share that tidbit sparingly, especially if we don't gossip too often, or with too many people. The problem with gossip is not only that it demeans another person. It also damages our inner life.

It's more than just feeling bad later—that same remorse that comes when we should have stopped at one bite of dessert but didn't. Rather, we begin to see the world differently, and when we see the world differently, we see ourselves differently.

The whispering we do about others has a way of diminishing our true voice. And when our true voice is diminished,we become less available to the touch of God that shapes us into the beautiful creation we were intended to be.

There's a sadness in that loss that can never be made up by the deliciousness of a tidbit of gossip. It's better to find our true voice and speak about others using only that voice. The beauty of our own soul would be maintained and the beauty of others might have a chance of being seen as well.

Gracious God, when my lips are ready to whisper about others, help me find the true voice within me that comes from you.