“You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people; nor shall you take a stand against the life of your neighbor… You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.” – Leviticus 19:16-18 NKJV

John Hill became a master of spreading gossip. Born in 1716, he became the editor of the British Magazine from 1746 to 1750.  He also contributed a daily society-gossip column to The London Advertiser and the Literary Gazette. His writings, so filled with rumors and half-truths, his actions angered many people, and led to bitter quarrels.

Today, the world is filled with people like John Hill, who delight in spreading rumors. They twist tiny morsels of information into malicious stories and share their speculations with morbid delight, unconcerned when they stir up problems and devastate the lives of others. This activity is celebrated by many in the media, who focus on digging up dirt and spreading gossip.

But this activity can be a real danger. In fact, God stated in the Law that His people were not to go about as a “talebearer.” The Hebrew word here more literally could be translated “a scandal monger.” These people are willing to cause scandals. In contrast, God wants us to “love your neighbor as yourself.” If we truly love others, and God, we will not be talebearers. We will not gossip or spread rumors.

Today, ask God to give you a deeper love for others. And realize that your words make a difference. You have the power to impact people for good, or for evil. To draw them close to God, or drive them away. To sow seeds of love or harm. Ask Him to help you not be a talebearer, but a witness for good. For His Kingdom. An ambassador of His love.

Today’s Inspiration Prayer

Father, help me to be careful about the words I speak. I want my words and deeds to bless others and draw them closer to You. I surrender my life to You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Further Reading: Leviticus 19

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