Mom and I have a favorite spot we like to stop by whenever we visit the local shopping mall. We are not there very often, so when we do traverse the mall, stopping into the See's Candies is a great treat. The tradition has carried on for ages - stop in and you get a free chocolate! I often don't want mine - so Mom scores! She gets a "two-fer". If you have ever experienced the chocolates from a See's, you know this is good chocolate. It is not like buying a candy bar at the grocery store. I really am not a connoisseur of chocolate - a plain chocolate bar from the grocer is fine for me! Yet, it really does not compare to the richness of the "finer" chocolates you find at the store in the mall. Some words are kind of like this - some go down easy, but they lack the "smoothness and taste" of the wise!
8 Listening to gossip is like eating cheap candy; do you really want junk like that in your belly? (Proverbs 18:8 The Message)
Idle talk and rumor are kind of like the grocery store bought chocolate - tastes good at first, but when you experience something more "gracious", you realize just how far short they fall! The one who engages in the consumption of gossip often finds they are never truly satisfied with what they take in - there is a drive for more. I know one equally sized store-bought mini chocolate bar does not satisfy as much as one finely crafted chocolate from our favorite chocolate store. Why? The fact may be as simple as the less costly one is designed to get you to eat more! This is also the case with idle talk and rumor!
When you explore the meaning of the word "gossip", you may be surprised to discover it also includes the kind of familiar "chit-chat" we all engage in from time to time. It is "light talk" - an exchange of information which no one really considers to be wrong to exchange. The problem: We often engage in an exchange without considering the impact of the content being shared! We may not even set out to share anything in a malicious, secretive manner, but in the "light talk" we share stuff some maybe should never hear about another!
The scripture points us repeatedly toward "considering" the words we choose. As a writer, I often "strike" the words I originally put into printed format before publishing them for public view. The "word-smithing" of an idea is at my disposal at the computer. I have the "editing" capability when it is the written word. Too bad I don't also have this "editing" capability on my spoken words!!! Before we even realize it, words are spoken which we may have done well to have exercised some type of "editing" function over prior to speaking them! It's true, isn't it? We need an "editing" filter over our mouths!
Just as the store-bought candy seldom satisfies, idle chit-chat seldom satisfies either. There is always a tendency to "get into somebody's business" if the conversation continues long enough. The sharing often leaves us feeling "bad" inside. It is what Solomon refers to as "junk" in the belly! Guess what? We are "consumers" of words - both written and spoken. Not all carry the same satisfying effect, do they? Some are definitely designed to get us to "consume" even more - like a juicy tid-bit of gossip. Others are spoken only once, yet their consumption brings deep, meaningful satisfaction to the soul. These are "wisdom words". A steady diet of these makes one more satisfied than hours of "junk words".
We can learn much from what we consume. The old saying, "You are what you eat", is definitely right on the mark, is it not? Maybe it is time for a little change in our "diet".