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Driving a Wedge

He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends. Proverbs 17:9

Between my years of growing up with a wood stove and now having a wood stove of my own, I have split a lot of firewood in my life. In that time, I have come across some pieces of wood that were extremely difficult to split because they were gnarled and knotted and had obviously been fused together for a very long time. What I have also discovered is that, with a little bit of muscle, a lot of patience, and a powerful log splitter, pretty much any piece of wood can be split. I included patience in that list because sometimes it takes what feels like hours before a piece of wood finally succumbs to the pressure of the log splitter. Sometimes the wedge that is being driven into the wood moves imperceptibly slowly. Yet, in the end, the wedge always wins.

Friendships forged over years of closeness form a sturdy bond. But, what Proverbs 17 warns about is the fact that a seemingly unbreakable bond of friendship can ultimately be splintered by a harmful story – true or not – that gets repeated. That is the wedge that drives itself between the adhesive that binds friends together. Does it happen overnight? Usually not. And many times, that wedge can move so imperceptibly slowly that it seems it’s not moving at all. By and by, however, a crack begins to appear that grows larger and larger until, one day, the friendship that seemed destined to last forever comes to a tragic end.

Gossip is a sin. It is a character flaw that announces itself in the desire to be liked or accepted by the crowd to whom it is spewed. Gossip doesn’t always have to be a story that is made up or untrue. It can be a based one hundred percent in fact. The very definition of the word lends itself to the idea that a story that should have remained private has become public knowledge. When a person decides to participate in the gossip chain, he becomes part of the wedge that drives a beautiful friendship apart.

Not only is it wise to halt the gossip for the sake of keeping friends together, but in the process, you are also protecting yourself. For, as sure as gossip drives a wedge between friends, a person who gossips to you will also gossip about you.

Read also: James 4:11-12

Quote of the day: "Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” - Henry Thomas Buckle

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