Margin notes for 3/26/2KX

“For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.” (Proverbs 26:20, ESV)

What fuels your problem? Cut off its supply, and it will die out.

The main concept here is the rejection of gossip. Gossipers encourage and further quarrels and divisions between people. We are not to gossip ourselves, nor to listen to gossip from others – imagining “we can handle it.” Gossip is poison. Not a single soul in the history of mankind has ever been helped, encouraged or edified and made more like Christ either by gossiping themselves, or listening to it from others. Period. Warren Wiersbe wrote: “An anonymous wit has defined gossip as news you have to hurry and tell somebody else before you find out it isn’t true! “I would rather play with forked lightning, or take in my hands living wires with their fiery current,” said A.B. Simpson, founder of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, “than speak a reckless word against any servant of Christ, or idly repeat the slanderous darts which thousands of Christians are hurling on others, to the hurt of their own souls and bodies.” (Wiersbe, W. W. (1996, c1992). Be determined. On cover: An Old Testament study–Nehemiah. (Ne 6:5). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.)

The secondary consideration is broader – it is true regarding any problem, or sin, if we cut off what supplies it, it dies out. This is especially true when seeking to deal with sexual lust for instance. Just getting “one more look”, or seeing the other person just “one more time” only throws gasoline on the fire. The fire never burns lower after added fuel. The lust burns hotter.

In a third application – whose whispers do you entertain in your quarrels with others? When we consult others too much in our disputes, their input often only exacerbates the circumstance. Often in marital disputes a husband and wife come to a place where they might be willing to let matters rest, but one or the other gets others involved who then bring up points we didn’t think of. But do we really need them? We aren’t trying to win a war – amassing our troops – but trying to resolve conflict between two parties. Does our opponent need to carry on a battle with two or three or four hearts and minds at once, each with their own limited and biased viewpoints? When two are left to sort out their issues between themselves, the likelihood of arriving at some sort of peace is greatly enhanced when both keep the other’s confidences, and speak only from their own hearts and minds – unfueled by others.

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