Chappy’s corner “Hear any good news lately?”

The ladies in Lena’s bridge club waited almost an hour for Lena to finally show up. When asked why she was late Lena told them she had been stuck at the beauty shop but then she went on and on telling them some scandalous items about certain women in the community. Finally she stopped and said,” Okay Ladies let’s play cards.” But the other ladies said, “Oh, Lena don’t stop now tell us more” At that point Lena said, “Oh I already told you more than I ever heard.”

I heard that story years ago from my good friend, the late Bob Hirsch who was a navy man which means he knew the phrase “loose lips sinks ships.”  In the military communication is to be tight.  We don’t pass on rumors.  But rumors exist.  When we were deployed all kinds of stories circulated about when and where we were going.  Sometimes the “rumors” were right on, but most of the time there was little truth to them.

The same is true in the civilian world. Many folks tend to pass on rumors or gossip. Although someone once said, “Women gossip, men simply share interesting facts about others”.  Sharing interesting facts about others is simply saying men along with women are both guilty of gossiping. Both men and women pass on gossip and too often they do it without checking to see if the rumor is true. Some like Lena even add to the story without having any evidence to back up what we are saying.

But even if we have the “facts” is it still okay to share with others?  Many mothers told their children “If you can’t say something good about someone don’t say anything at all.”  That’s good advice, but sometimes being silent is not the best course. Sometimes we need to stand up and defend those being “talked about”.

In the Ten commandments God forbids “bearing false witness against your neighbor” A preacher, named Luther defined  it this way, “We should fear and love God so that we do not tell lies about our neighbor betray him, slander  him or hurt his reputation, but defend him, speak well of him and put the best construction on everything.” 

Defending others is not easy to do, but it could possibly save a person’s reputation and much more. Due to gossip many careers, homes and marriages have been ruined. Even Jesus suffered from lies.  At his trial false witnesses told lies about what he had said and did.  No one defended Jesus and He himself chooses to be silent in front of his accusers.  Those liars didn’t stop Jesus from fulfilling his mission which was to save sinners.  Now in the Christian faith what Jesus did is called the Gospel, which literally means “good news”. For the world Jesus life, death and resurrection is “good news”.

In the world many would like to hear “juicy gossip” but hopefully most of us would prefer to hear some good news.  That’s just my thoughts from this corner of SE South Dakota!

CH (COL) David Gunderson