Gossip Di Run Long Time

“Gossip di run long time.” In English, we might say, “Gossip has been around for a long time.” Whenever our pastor slips into Belizean Kriol, I know the message will hit home. He was preaching from the  22nd chapter of Joshua. In verses 11-12 we read,

“The rest of Israel heard that the people of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh had built an altar at Geliloth at the edge of the land of Canaan, on the west side of the Jordan River. So the whole community of Israel gathered at Shiloh and prepared to go to war against them.” ‭‭Joshua‬ ‭22‬:‭11‬-‭12‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Do you see it? The hint of gossip in the phrase, ‘The rest of Israel heard.’ They were ready to go to war based on their perception of what they heard. How many of us can relate? I can. I will confess to being upset over something of which I had no firsthand knowledge.

Gossip Di Run

Some words of ours land on deaf ears, but gossip runs fast. It stirs up tempers, set family members at odds, and separates friends. We have to guard our thoughts and check out the reality.

“First, however, they sent a delegation led by Phinehas son of Eleazar, the priest, to talk with the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh.” ‭‭Joshua‬ ‭22‬:‭13‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Their reaction was to gather and prepare for war. Their first action, however, was fact-finding. Oh, how much heartache would we save if we took this principle as our model? Instead of quickly reacting based on our assumptions, let’s pause to gather information and act on facts.

An Altar Built On Fear

The truth is, we have built this altar because we fear that in the future your descendants will say to ours, ‘What right do you have to worship the Lord, the God of Israel? Joshua 22:24 NLT

Joshua commended their obedience to God and sent them home with a blessing. On the way, they stopped to build an altar of memorial. When they explained their fear over what may or may not happen in the future to Phinehas, he listened. And his wisdom, insight, and understanding prevented a war.

What to do?

For me, the next time gossip di run my way, I pray for the ability to stop, gather the facts, and move without assumptions. May we all be bold enough to question and wise enough to listen.

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