Someone shared with me recently a rumor that that has “allegedly” been circulating about her.  I listened carefully, wanting to be supportive although I could not imagine anything further from the truth as she was describing it.  Still, I could tell that she was bothered by the situation and that it was causing undue anxiety.

Do you know the definition of the word “rumor”?  Here is one that I like best from my trusted source Google:

A currently circulating story or report of uncertain or doubtful truth
Be circulated as an unverified account [1]

Lord, have mercy!  Do we not suffer enough these days from “uncertain or doubtful truth,” “unverified accounts,” or unsubstantiated facts? If we’re not paying attention, it’s easy to get caught up in rumors and lies and things that divide, like varying views on politics and religion, name calling, making demands, and giving ultimatums—let alone unbridled biases around race, gender, homosexuality, etc., etc.

Sometimes we just don’t have time to investigate before passing on information that could potentially be damaging to someone and their character, career, or reputation—isn’t that right?  But I think it is well worth the effort considering the potential damage that can result and the sheer possibility that what we have heard might actually be wrong; sometimes very wrong.

“A rumor is just a rumor,” I assured my friend, “and rumors don’t have staying power.  Even the outright truth is often not a hot topic for very long because people seem to move on quickly and have better things to do with their time and lives.”

My mom used to say that “a dog that brings a bone carries a bone.”  It’s an old adage reminding us to be leery of people who freely bring gossip or unsubstantiated facts to you because these same people are more likely than not to carry gossip or unsubstantiated facts about you on to the next person, and the next, and the next.

Dear Lord, please guide not only our hearts but also our tongues; and may we always seek truth and love rather than hate and division.  

Grace and peace,
Pastor Cathy