Watch out for people who spread gossip, because more than likely they have something ugly to hide in their own lives. Years ago our church had an attorney who made a point of telling me the latest gossip about pastors who had fallen into sin. This went on for a while, and then it abruptly stopped. When I no longer heard from the attorney, I wondered why he had become so quiet all of a sudden. I soon found out why.

A newspaper article reported that the attorney had been arrested and convicted of fraud. He was serving time in prison. He had been telling me negative things about other people to hide the wrongdoing in his own life.

Most people will do anything to keep attention away from themselves when they are doing wrong. It’s human nature. Do you remember David and Bathsheba? David made Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, drunk and sent him home to cover up for his adultery. When that didn’t work, he arranged for Uriah to be killed by Israel’s enemies so he could marry Bathsheba. We are no different. We will often lie, cheat, manipulate, and slander our way out of taking responsibility for our sins. It displeased God in David’s time, and it displeases Him now.

You’ve probably heard the saying, “For every finger you point at someone else, there are three pointing back at you.” It’s true. God is just, and He knows exactly how to put us in our place. We are wise to look at our own lives before we try to bring others’ sins to light.

Maybe you take pride in being connected to “the grapevine” at your church or workplace. Whenever something negative happens in someone else’s life, you’re one of the first people to hear about it. Remember God is keeping score. Someday He will bring upon you the shame and embarrassment you brought on the victim of your gossip. He sees your gossip for what it is: an attempt to cover up your own sins. Like the attorney and David before him, you won’t get away clean.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder