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Expat wanderer

Just Say No – to Gossip

From today’s Lectionary readings:

Sirach 19:4-17

4 One who trusts others too quickly has a shallow mind,
and one who sins does wrong to himself.
5 One who rejoices in wickedness* will be condemned,*
6 but one who hates gossip has less evil.
7 Never repeat a conversation,
and you will lose nothing at all.
8 With friend or foe do not report it,
and unless it would be a sin for you, do not reveal it;
9 for someone may have heard you and watched you,
and in time will hate you.
10 Have you heard something? Let it die with you.
Be brave, it will not make you burst!
11 Having heard something, the fool suffers birth-pangs
like a woman in labour with a child.
12 Like an arrow stuck in a person’s thigh,
so is gossip inside a fool.
13 Question a friend; perhaps he did not do it;
or if he did, so that he may not do it again.
14 Question a neighbour; perhaps he did not say it;
or if he said it, so that he may not repeat it.
15 Question a friend, for often it is slander;
so do not believe everything you hear.
16 A person may make a slip without intending it.
Who has not sinned with his tongue?
17 Question your neighbour before you threaten him;
and let the law of the Most High take its course.

October 25, 2010 - Posted by | Friends & Friendship, Social Issues, Spiritual, Values


  1. I like a lot of what this is saying. What is the source? I’m not familiar with Sirach? Also, I’m wondering if there’s a way to translate this into something my 11-yr old daughter would easily understand, appreciate, and relate to?

    Comment by Courtney Beggs | October 27, 2010 | Reply

  2. Courtney, Sirach is not in all bibles, only Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican/Episcopalian bibles.

    Episcopalians have daily readings (optional but recommended 🙂 ) in The Lectionary. Sirach comes up now and then, and it is a lot like Proverbs, full of good stuff. Today’s reading has more really good stuff.

    Today’s Sirach reading.

    14 Slander* has shaken many,
    and scattered them from nation to nation;
    it has destroyed strong cities,
    and overturned the houses of the great.
    15 Slander* has driven virtuous women from their homes,
    and deprived them of the fruit of their toil.
    16 Those who pay heed to slander* will not find rest,
    nor will they settle down in peace.
    17 The blow of a whip raises a welt,
    but a blow of the tongue crushes the bones.
    18 Many have fallen by the edge of the sword,
    but not as many as have fallen because of the tongue.
    19 Happy is one who is protected from it,
    who has not been exposed to its anger,
    who has not borne its yoke,
    and has not been bound with its fetters.
    20 For its yoke is a yoke of iron,
    and its fetters are fetters of bronze;
    21 its death is an evil death,
    and Hades is preferable to it.
    22 It has no power over the godly;
    they will not be burned in its flame.
    23 Those who forsake the Lord will fall into its power;
    it will burn among them and will not be put out.
    It will be sent out against them like a lion;
    like a leopard it will mangle them.
    24a As you fence in your property with thorns,
    25b so make a door and a bolt for your mouth.
    24b As you lock up your silver and gold,
    25a so make balances and scales for your words.
    26 Take care not to err with your tongue,*
    and fall victim to one lying in wait.

    One of the things I give my Mom a lot of credit for was that at 11 – even earlier – she allowed me to read anything I wanted to. She would send me to the library with a basket of books; the librarian always picked out some for her. When I would choose an adult book, the librarian would call my Mom and ask her if it was OK, and my Mom always said ‘if she wants to try reading it, let her read it.’ I remember one was something like ‘the psychology of raising children from ages 10 to 16; I wanted to see how I was doing, LOL. I bet your eleven year old is really smart. . . 🙂

    There are special bibles written for teens, did you know that? here is a really good one available through Amazon. Might make a good Christmas gift:

    Product Description
    The classic, bestselling NIV Teen Study Bible (Zondervan) for kids ages twelve to fifteen in a more portable, less expensive edition.

    From the Back Cover
    The best-selling Bible for teens ages 12-15—same great content, now more portable and more affordable!

    The Teen Study Bible is the best-selling Bible for kids ages twelve to fifteen. Why? Because it offers interesting study helps that allow readers to see how the Bible applies to their lives. And now it’s available in a more portable, less expensive edition. Smaller size, lower price, same compelling content in the same exciting format. Who could ask for more?

    Special features include: • Book Introductions direct readers to important information within each book • The Bible Says: gives biblical perspectives on today’s issues • Direct Line looks at Bible passages and answers the question: What does this mean for me? • Quizzer asks and then answers interesting Bible trivia questions • Dear Sam gives advice and answers to faith’s FAQs • Bible Promise: highlights Bible verses worth remembering • Jericho Joe shows up in unexpected places and provides a lighthearted touch • Subject Index directs readers to specific topics covered in the features • Full-color tip-in pages give a Christian perspective on 22 contemporary issues • The New International Version is today’s most read, most trusted translation

    Comment by intlxpatr | October 27, 2010 | Reply

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