The Negative Affects of Gossip

Gossip is like a cancer that spreads and kills as it goes! How do you stop it!

I once heard an interesting story told about gossip and I wanted to share it here with you as follows:

There once was woman who did not like what a certain pastor of her church  and what he would say to would say to her. One day the old man’s words were more than she could bear. It was the truth “BUT” it made her so angry that she really began to “butt”.  She went everywhere telling lies and evil stories about him. She tried very hard to turn all of the people against him with her terrible talk and gossip. But the more she talked the sadder she became.  At last she was very unhappy, and began to feel sorry for all the lies she had told.

Finally, in tears, the woman went to the pastor’s house to ask him to forgive her, “I have told so many lies about you,” she said, “please forgive me.”

The old man did not answer her for a long time. He seemed to be deep in thought and prayer. At last he said, “Yes, I will forgive you, but FIRST you must do something for ME.”

“What do you want me to DO?” she said, a little surprised.

“Come with me up to the bell tower and I will show you,” he said, looking straight into her eyes, “but first I need to get something from my room.”

When the pastor returned from his room, he carried a big feather pillow under his arm. The poor woman could hardly hide her surprise and growing curiosity.

The flustered woman could hardly keep from asking what the pillow was for, and why they were going up to the bell tower. However, she kept silent, and a little out of breath they finally reached the church bell tower.

The wind blew softly through the big open windows of the bell tower. From the tower, they could see far out into the countryside that stretched out beyond the village.

Suddenly, without saying anything, the pastor ripped open the pillow and dumped all of the feathers out of the window.

The wind and the little breezes caught the feathers and carried them everywhere:  Out on to the rooftops, into the streets, under cars, up into trees, out into the backyards where the children were playing, and even out to the big highway, and on and on farther still into the distance.

The pastor and the woman watched the feathers flutter away for some time. At last the old man turned to the woman and said, “Now I want you to go and pick up all of those feathers for me.”

“Pick up all of those feathers?” she gasped. “But that is impossible!”

“Yes, I know.” said the pastor. “Those feathers are like your lies about me. What you have started, you cannot stop, even if you are sorry. You may be able to tell a few people who you lied about me, but the winds of gossip have carried your lies EVERYWHERE. You can blow out a MATCH, but you cannot blow out the great forest fire that one match can START!

6 Replies to “The Negative Affects of Gossip”

  1. It’s true. Negative comments are evil and can never be contained once started. I try hard to keep my tongue bridled. It’s the best way to stay out of trouble.

    You’ll want to re-read your first big paragraph.

    1. And now with the internet it is even more difficult to contain! It spreads faster than you would ever want it too! Thank you for your comment I appreciate it.

  2. I’ve never heard a better story as an example of what happens when someone lies about someone else – it’s perfect, very well said by you and I hope it will serve as a preventative. One of my poems is “Gossip Groupies”. If you get a chance check it out on my blog – there’s a list of titles (links) in alphabetic order on the home page. 🙂

    1. This was a story told me years ago and it is not really mine but I am not sure who to give the credit to. It stuck with me for years as it truly a great illustration of how damaging gossip can be.I am glad you liked it and I am heading over to read your poem on the subject! Thank you Louis!

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