Notes from Brother Jay

Some behaviors are addictions and require intense treatment.  Usually indicated by disruption in several areas of a person’s life, addictions are subject to denials and when addressed, cannot easily be stopped.  Habits, however, are the sum of our practicing a behavior until it’s automatic.

“An addiction is a compulsive need of a certain thing or substance to the body, which when deprived causes horrible effects. A habit can be controlled or modified, while addiction cannot be controlled and requires professional help for modification.” (http://www.differencebetween.info/difference-between-habit-and-addiction)

      So, what is our worst habit?  You might think the answer subjective, and for the most part you would be correct.  However, one habit many of us have, and enjoy, is the worst habit of them all, GOSSIP!  The wisdom of the Proverbs says:

Gossip

27 Scoundrels create trouble;
    their words are a destructive blaze.
28 A troublemaker plants seeds of strife;
    gossip separates the best of friends.
29 Violent people mislead their companions,
    leading them down a harmful path.  (Pr. 16:27-29)

      The author implies gossip is akin to violence!  

      The Psalmist writes,

1 Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord?
Who may enter your presence on your holy hill?
2 Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right,
speaking the truth from sincere hearts.
3 Those who refuse to gossip
or harm their neighbors
or speak evil of their friends. (Ps 15:1-3)

      But the worst of it gets described in Proverbs 16,

“A troublemaker plants seeds of strife;
gossip separates the best of friends.” (Pr. 16:28)

      Gossip does to friendship and community what sexual sin does to marriages, destroying trust, demolishing reputations, producing strife, quarreling, and misery for blameless, unknowing souls.   
     Right now, lots of stories churn in Ocilla and Irwin County where we live.  A mystery is being brought to light, but speculation abounds, and we don’t have to participate!  The story will get told.  Our friends need us for support and encouragement, not fractured friendships and wrecked families.  We’ve seen enough evil. For many, grief slammed into them just as if 11 years turned into 11 hours or 11 days.
      Where their faith is weak, they need ours.  When it’s hard for them to pray, we can intercede.  Where they feel excluded, we can offer them God’s unconditional love.
      What a great habit to form!

Peace,

Brother Jay

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