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How To Can The Gossip

Gossip Reputation Testimony

Source: “China: No, we are not sending cans of human flesh to Africa,” By Adam Taylor, Washington Post, May 19, 2016

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-09-07

Scripture: 1 Peter 2:12

Author: Illustration Exchange
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ILLUSTRATION

China's ambassador to Zambia, Yang Youming, is attempting to stop a terrible rumor. What's the misinformation that has the ambassador so concerned? According to Adam Taylor with the Washington Post, it's that, "China was taking dead bodies, marinating them, putting them in cans and then selling them in African supermarkets." 

Adam Taylor reports: 

Some reports quoted people who allegedly worked in Chinese meat factories as saying that the practice had begun because China had run out of space to bury their dead or that Beijing reserved its good, nonhuman meat for more powerful countries.

Of course, the rumors are false. In fact, the photographs posted online of this "human flesh" were taken from a 2012 marketing stunt for the video-game Resident Evil 6. 

APPLICATION

Have you ever found yourself questioning whether a wild sounding rumor might be true? Why do the Zambian’s believe they're being served human flesh? Turns out, there was a violation of trust that took place long before the rumors began to fly.  The Zambian’s mistrusted the Chinese because they had a reputation of allowing dangerous working conditions on their projects, which led to an explosion at a factory in 2005, killing more than 50 Zambian workers.

There is no sure way to avoid becoming a victim of unfair gossip, but maintaining a good reputation will help. When we have a good reputation, it undermines the credibility of any falsehoods that might arise. 

"Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us" (1 Peter 2:12) 

Whoa, Whoa, Whoa Your Boat!

Influence Gossip Legacy

Source: Preacherpollard's Blog 8/12/15

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Neal Pollard | Date Posted: 2015-08-12

Scripture: Matthew 5:16 ; 1 Timothy 4:12

Author: Neal Pollard
2

ILLUSTRATION

(August 2015) Unfortunately for folks in southwestern Colorado and several surrounding states, the trouble that's come to them is more than a matter that can be solved by staying out of the Los Animas River.  Due to a mishap by some federally-supervised workers, a blowout in the Gold King Mine in the mountains above Silverton has resulted in millions of gallons of toxins, include mercury and arsenic, being sent downstream into water supplies.

This mishap has contaminated domestic wells and endangered fish and livestock. It has negatively impacted tourist industries that rely on customers who raft, canoe, and fish in the river.  It has impacted irrigation and city water intake facilities.  All of this from a single incident in a mine hundreds of miles away from many of the affected areas.

No one knows how this situation will ultimately be resolved, or how much it will cost.  Although the problem started in a relatively small, remote area, it has become a national story.  And as the river continues to flow, the troubles will likely continue to compound.

APPLICATION

Have you considered the power of your influence?  A single negative conversation, an impulsive act, or a thought unchecked can lead to outcomes that are impossible to anticipate.  So many in Scripture have learned of the destructive power of being a negative spiritual influence the hard way.  David learned it (2 Samuel 11:1-2).  The young lads from Bethel learned it (2 Kings 2:23-24).  Judas learned it (Matthew 26:15). 

It can cause spiritual babes to stumble (Matthew 18:6), the offender to stumble (Matthew 18:8), and the world to blaspheme (2 Samuel 12:14).  No amount of remorse, regret, or retreat can undo its toxicity.

If you find yourself in the “clean up” stage, realize that with time and effort you can work to counteract the impact of poor influence.  There may be lingering consequences, but you can mitigate that through genuine repentance.  It doesn’t have to end catastrophically, as it did for Judas.  Let it end triumphantly, as it did for Peter.

Keep in mind, too, that a positive influence works the same way (Matthew 13:33).  A kind, righteous thought, word, or deed can trigger a powerful effect that leads the lost to be saved and those on the broad way to change course.  You may never see the end result of your influence, but rest assured that a life well lived will touch more lives than you think.

Skeletons In Lawn Chairs

Gossip Discernment Judging

Source: Preacher Pollard's Blog, Skeletons In Lawn Chairs, posted 5/7/15

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Neal Pollard | Date Posted: 2015-05-16

Scripture: Proverbs 18:13

Author: Neal Pollard
1

ILLUSTRATION

A man who was snorkeling in the Colorado River may have been expecting to find plants, aquatic life, and even ruins, but he did not expect to find two skeletons sitting in lawn chairs 40 feet below the surface.  The man was frightened, undoubtedly convinced he’d stumbled across a relatively recent tragedy. There was a sign with the date August 16, 2014, alongside the “bodies.”

Dutifully, the man reported the find to the La Paz County sheriff’s office, which investigated the scene. The whole thing turns out to have been a hoax, a set up which law enforcement believes to have been nothing more than an attempt to be funny (AP report, 5/7/15, via foxnews.com).

APPLICATION

Perhaps you have heard the adage, “Only believe half of what you see and none of what you hear.”  We do not want to go through life as cynical skeptics, but there is truth to the idea that looks can be deceiving. 

Sometimes we can mistake someone’s bad day or scowled face as anger or a vendetta against us.  We can be guilty of judging a book by its cover.  We may overhear part of a conversation, drawing an unwarranted conclusion without the benefit of “the rest of the story.”  We may think we know the circumstances or character of someone’s life based on partial “evidence.”  So many times, it is just hard to know.  In the end, what we thought we saw, heard, and knew turns out to be different from the reality.
 
Jesus warned, “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24).  The Old Law had a similar admonition: “Judge your neighbor fairly” (Lev. 19:15). Proverbs 18:13 warns, “He who gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame to him.” 
 
When it comes to our dealings with anyone, but especially our brethren, we should be sure we have the whole picture. That preacher may not be the false teacher he is painted out to be.  That brother or sister may not be mad at you, but hurting for unrelated reasons.  That rumor or piece of gossip may be totally unfounded.  “Hastiness” can be hurtfulness (cf. Prov. 21:5; 29:20; Ecc. 5:2).  In a rush to get the scoop, let’s always be sure we’ve got the whole truth!
 

Who's Listening?

Accountability God's Omnipresence Gossip

Contributed By: Chris Horton | Date Posted: 2015-03-13

Scripture: Proverbs 18:7

Author: Chris Horton
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How To Spread Gossip

Gossip Honesty Communication

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-06-11

Scripture: Proverbs 20:19

Author: Kent Crockett
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How Much Poison Does It Take

Words (Power of) Murder Gossip

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-11-22

Scripture: James 3:8 ; Galatians 5:15

Author: Melissa Tulin
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Watch the Borders

Misunderstanding Gossip Communication

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-02-25

Scripture: Proverbs 26:20

Author: Cartha DeLoach
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Rumors

Rumors Gossip Doubt

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-02-02

Author: Charles Swindoll
3

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Rock Rumors

Gossip Reputation Lies

Contributed By: Mitchell Dillon | Date Posted: 2012-11-30

Scripture: Proverbs 16:18

Author: Mitchell Dillon
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What Does Your Tongue Say About You?

Edification Gossip Truth

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-01-02

Scripture: Ephesians 4:29

Author: Illustration Exchange
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