Our church is blessed with extraordinarily gifted Lay Speakers. Because they are so good, I minimize the times they preach sermons because, if the congregation figures out how good they are, and they are free, they may begin questioning why they pay me.
One of these wonderful servants of our church is Barbara. This is what she sent me. I hope it speaks to you the way it did to me.
“In Ancient Greece, Socrates had a great reputation of wisdom.
One day, someone came to find the great philosopher and said to him:
– “Do you know what I just heard about your friend?”
– “A moment”, replied Socrates. “Before you tell me, I would like to test you the three sieves.”
– “The three sieves?”
“Yes” continued Socrates;
“Before telling anything about the others, it’s good to take the time to filter what you mean.
I call it the test of the three sieves.”
“The first sieve is the TRUTH. Have you checked if what you’re going to tell me is true”?
– “No, I just heard it.”
– “Very good! So, you don’t know if it’s true.
We continue with the second sieve, that of KINDNESS.
What you want to tell me about my friend, is it good”?
– “Oh, no! On the contrary.”
– “So”, questioned Socrates, “you want to tell me bad things about him and you’re not even sure they’re true”?
“Maybe you can still pass the test of the third sieve, that of UTILITY.
Is it useful that I know what you’re going to tell me about this friend”?
– “Not, really”.
-” So”, concluded Socrates, “what you were going to tell me is neither true, nor good, nor useful. Why, then, did you want to tell me this”?
Gossip is a bad thing.
In the beginning it may seem enjoyable and fun, but in the end, it fills our hearts with bitterness and poisons us, too!
P.S. I have no idea whether this is actually quoted from Socrates, but they are good sieves anyway. And I am sure the editorial last two lines are not from Socrates, but all are good to think about.”
The lesson from Barbara’s message is simple. If you don’t have anything good to say – DON’T.
Gossip is evil and followers of Christ cannot take part in it. It does damage.
Scripture says, “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.” (James 1:26)
This week, sooner or later, you will be tempted to participate in gossip. When this happens, remember the wise words of Socrates. If it’s not true, good, or useful, it’s not the sort of conversation God wants us to be a part of.
Prayer: Dear Gracious Heavenly God, please help me use my words to always build up and not tear down. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
It’s the start of a new work week. Make it count.
I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.