Rumors and Pillows

Friday, February 8, 2013 (All day)

What is the impact of spreading gossip?

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[Gary Petty] There's a story that's been told many different ways over actually hundreds of years. But it always goes something like this. A woman goes into a church office early one morning before the hours usually the pastor is there, but his door opens and a young woman comes out rather disheveled looking. And so she wonders what's going on. A little later in the day she finds out that that young woman and her husband are being separated, possibly getting a divorce. She then concludes, "Wow, something strange is happening." So she sits down with her friends at lunch and tells them what she saw. They all conclude that probably the pastor was having an affair with this young woman. And so it soon spreads throughout the church that this pastor is having an affair with this young woman.

Well, they find out later that what had actually happened was the woman was very depressed that night and the pastor and his wife had spent the entire night in his office trying to help this woman and counsel her as she was going through this crisis of life. The woman then realizes what she did. She goes to the pastor's office and she sits down and says, "I've spread all these rumors and done all this damage. What can I do?"

And he says, "Well, it's very simple. I want you to take a good feather pillow filled with feathers. Go to the top of a nearby hill. Then I want you to slit it open and scatter those feathers to the wind. Then after you've done that. I want you to go find all of those feathers and pick them up." And she said, "Well, that's impossible." He said, "That's right. It's impossible to heal all the damage that's been done sometimes through rumors and gossip."

It reminds me of what Solomon wrote in Proverbs 16. He says, "An ungodly man digs up evil and it is on his lips like a burning fire. A perverse man sows strife, and a whisperer separates the best of friends" (Proverbs:16:27-28).

Before you listen or pass on gossip next time, sit down and think about before you do it, "Am I just scattering feathers in the wind?"

That's today's BT Daily .


KARS's picture

Funny how you would mention this story. I found a goose feather one day while taking my daily walk with my pet. I left it there of course for as a child I was told not to pick up bird feathers.

Have a good Sabbath Mr. Petty.


patrisia's picture

I was raised in a home where we were told to leave the room during an adult conversation, and what gets said in our home stays in our home. It is always a challenge when someone comes to you in trust with their problems but that's where true friends are recognized. I have been told and have learned the hard way of who you confide in as they may not be trusted...or your true friend.

linda effenberger

linda effenberger's picture

Thanks for a vivid picture of what damage gossip can cause. I will have to keep that pillow and those feathers in mind.


vielgervise's picture

WOW! wonderful & helpful message. thank you sooo much for these, Mr.Petty.

Joshua Infantado

Joshua Infantado's picture

Wow! what a great story to convey the destructive effects of gossip.


350xrider's picture

We should also remember that gossip can be the spreading of information that is true. A person may have repented of a sin many years ago, but yet someone decides to spread it around. People then start acting differently, speaking to the person differently, and it ends up damaging the relationship with many.
Philipians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. I think God would approve if we also added to not only think on these things, but to "speak on these things" as well.


Terri's picture

Thank you for the reminder about WORDS, and using for good and not in a way which brings harm to another through gossip.

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