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G L E A N I N G S F R O M A C H R I S T I A N ’ S L I B R A R Y

A lady who had been in the habit of spreading slanderous reports once
confessed her fault to St. Philip Neri, and asked him how she could cure it.
“Go,” he said in reply, “to the nearest market-place, buy a chicken just killed,
pluck its feathers all the way, and come back to me.” She was greatly
surprised, wondering in what way a dead chicken could help her to overcome
her evil habit; but she did as he bade her, and came back to him with the
plucked chicken in her hand. “Now go back,” he said, “and bring me all the
feathers you have scattered.” “But that is impossible,” she replied, “I cast all
the feathers carelessly, and the wind carried them away: how can I recover
them?” “That,” he said, “is exactly like your words of slander. They have
been carried about in every direction. You cannot recall them. Go, and
slander no more.”
It is a striking way of teaching a very important lesson. Let us hope the lady
never forgot it; and, in so far as we need it, let us apply it to ourselves.
Slander is a false report uttered to the prejudice of another. But it does not
need that what you say about a man be false in order to do him great injury.
The thing you tell may be strictly true, and yet it may do him much harm. It
may do him much harm, too, even if it is spoken thoughtlessly and as a
matter of idle gossip. It is not enough to justify your repeating such a thing
because it is true. The question is rather this: is it needful that the person to
whom you tell it should know about it? If not, you had better leave it unsaid.
Would you like to have such things, whether true or false, told about
yourself? Of course you would not. Apply, then, to the golden rule, “So in
everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.”
If you your lips would save from slips,
Five things observe with care;
Of whom you speak, to whom you speak,
And how – and when – and where.

Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit. Ps.34:13
I said, “I will guard my ways, lest I sin with my tongue; I will restrain my
mouth with a muzzle. Ps.39:1
I believe gossip to be one of the greatest enemies to both mental and
spiritual improvement. It encourages the mind to dwell on the superficial
aspect of things and the passing trivialities of the hour. There are very few
people who have either the capacity or inclination to converse on deep and
important things. There is little substance in gossip, and in a whole
conversation it is commonly the case that nothing has been said which might
not just as well, or better, have been left unsaid.
Think twice before you believe every evil story you hear, and think twenty
times before you repeat it, it may not be true or it may be exaggerated. Ask
yourself if it is necessary to repeat it. Let us give the helping hand, not the
downward push.

Is tongue-murder.
A poison,
Neither mineral nor herbal,
But a much deadlier -
A poison verbal.”

Gossip is pouring a little social sewage into people’s ears. Gossip is what no
one claims to like, but everybody enjoys.
The things that most people want to know about are usually none of their
People do not believe everything they hear – but this doesn’t prevent them
from repeating it.

Some care not what they say; they will censure, slander, lie, gossip and wish
evil to others. How can Christ be in their heart, when the devil is in control of
the tongue?

If anyone considers himself religious
and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue,
he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. James.1:26

LORD, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill?
He who does not backbite with his tongue. Ps.15:1, 3

The old country doctor of my boyhood days always began his examination by
saying, “Let me see your tongue.” It is a good way to start the examination
of anybody who claims to be a Christian. We recognize metals by their
tinkling, and men by their talking. ‘Speak, that I may see thee.’ said

The tongue's power to do good is simply incalculable. It can impart valuable
knowledge; it can speak words which will shine like lamps in darkened
hearts; it can pronounce kind sentences which will comfort sorrow, or cheer
despondency; it can breathe thoughts which will arouse, inspire, and quicken
heedless souls, and even whisper the divine secret of the life-giving
Gospel, to those who are spiritually dead. What good we could do with
our tongues, if we would use them to the full limit of their power for good, no
one can compute!

“The boneless tongue, so small and weak,
Can crush and kill,” declared the Greek.
“The tongue destroys a greater horde,”
The Turk asserts, “than does the sword.”
The Persian proverb wisely saith,
“A lengthy tongue – an early death;”
Or sometimes takes this form instead,
“Don’t let your tongue cut off your head.”
“The tongue can speak a word whose speed,”
Say the Chinese, “outstrips the steed.”
While Arab sages this impart,
“The tongue’s great storehouse is the heart.”
From Hebrew wit the maxim sprung,
“Though feet should slip, ne’er let the tongue.”
The sacred writer crowns the whole;
“Who keeps his tongue doth keep his soul.”

I have not much to offer To Christ, my Lord and King;
No wealth, no might, no wisdom, No noble gift to bring.
"Five loaves and two small fishes?" But what alas are they
Among the throngs of hungry who crowd life's troubled way?

"Five loaves and two small fishes?" Not much, dear heart, 'tis true;
But yield them to the Master and see what He can do!
Placed in His hands of mercy Thy little will be much.
'Tis not thy gift that matters But His almighty touch!

All the above material is taken from books which are in my library. Totaf