How many of these sweet morsels do you think you could eat in one sitting? Three? Eight? Thirty-seven? Have you ever found yourself in front of a tasty treat like this and thought to yourself “I can have ONE of these. ONE wouldn’t hurt anything.” What happens next? Did you behave and have only one? Probably not.
How about this scenario: Have you ever found yourself in close proximity to a treat like these chocolate morsels and not really intend to eat any of them? Then, your mind wanders on things happening around you, conversations, etc. and before you know it, you realize you had been snacking on treats for some time now. Anyone ever been there?
It’s okay, this is honest time.
We have a love affair with these types of sweet treats. It is like crack to us. No, seriously, it has become our crack. Scientific research in France showed that intense sweetness – not just refined sugar, but also artificial sweeteners – surpasses cocaine as a reward in laboratory animals.
I know what you’re thinking: “I’m not a lab animal.” I understand, but does that make it any less true? Have you ever made a really healthy decision and later decided to “reward” yourself with some sweet treat? “It’s okay if I eat three slices of chocolate cake, I walked to the mailbox earlier.”
How wonderful would it be if you could eat all the sweets you wanted and never see any negative consequences? No weight gain. No pudgy belly or bulgy backside. No cavity-ridden teeth. No sluggishness. Wow, that sounds nice. Nice, but not true. We know about the consequences and yet still we indulge. Why?
We love sweet chocolate morsels.
I think God knew that. I think that’s why when He was comparing a certain addictive sin to something, He chose delicious morsels. What sin is compared to sweet morsels? I’ll give you a hint: it is a relationship-killer, a church-splitter, a feelings-hurter, a divider. It erodes a friendship slowly using the tears of the victims affected. In the “big picture” of our sin-labeling mind, we would consider this a “minor sin.” “It’s certainly not murder,” and yet it nurtures hate, which the Savior considered murder.
Have you guessed the sin? Gossip. In Proverbs 26:22, Scripture says “The words of a gossip are like delicious morsels; they go down into a person's innermost being.”
Wow! How could something as nasty as a gossipers words be compared to something as heavenly as sweet, delicious morsels?
Is it easy to commit yourself to only ONE sweet treat? “Yes,” we tell ourselves, “only one.” It’s the same with gossip. Most gossipers would not consider themselves gossipers. It all starts with that first, ONE, morsel.
Is it easy to not intend to have ANY of a tempting treat, and then become distracted and, before you know it, you’ve been consuming the sweetness without realizing it? Yes. This can be true for gossip. Maybe you sat down with someone having no intention to gossip. One conversation turns to another and, before you know it, you’re a part of the problem, not the solution.
How wonderful would it be if we could gossip about anyone, at any time, without any consequence? No hurt feelings. No resentment. No broken relationships. Sounds nice. Nice, but not true. We know the consequences of gossip and yet still we indulge. Why?
We love sweet chocolate morsels.
Maybe you’re the person that simply listens to the gossip but does not contribute. Notice that this verse in Proverbs was not necessarily discussing the gossiper, but the one listening to the gossip. “The words of a gossip are like delicious morsels; they go down into a person's innermost being.”
You’re listening to this gossip, or “disturbing news,” or “important information,” or “prayer request” (yes, I went there), and you’re consuming every delicious morsel.
It travels into your ears, your brain processes the information and locks it away safe into your heart (your innermost being). You likely form an opinion on the information and either share your opinion (furthering gossip), or you marinate on it for a while. Maybe you feel better for having consumed the information, more informed, perhaps pridefully-powerful having retained this wealth of goodies.
After enjoying a diet of these morsels one day you wake up 60 pounds overweight, your energy level is almost non-existent, and your self-esteem…ha! What self-esteem? No one respects you because you no longer respect yourself and you perceive that few people love you. The only thing that would make you feel better is….a sweet, delicious, comforting morsel.
Gossip will leave you feeling similar after a while. You continue to tear others down, carefully behind their backs, assuming they will never hear, but making sure those around you have “all the information.” Until one day you will wake up with the negative consequences. Who would trust someone like you? Are you the great “keeper of the confidential?” No. You are their “dealer.” The one they come to when they need another sweet, tasty morsel for themselves. Sounds okay, but that’s not love.
What’s the alternative for you listeners? Simple in word, tough in action. What do you do when you find yourself like me: a life of too many sweets, but determined to take control before you die at 55 years old from heart disease? When the morsels are coming around you simply state kindly “No chocolate for me please, it’s killing me.”
No more for me. Say it....live it.