Below is a poem with some great instruction.
If you are tempted to reveal,
A tale to you someone has told,
About another, make it pass,
Before you speak – three gates of gold.
These narrow gates: First – “Is it True?”
Then – “Is it needful?” In your mind
Give truthful answers. And the Next
Is last and narrowest – “Is it kind?”
And if to reach your lips at last,
It passes through these gateways three,
Then you may tell the tale, not fear
What the result of speech may be.
Can what we say pass through these gates of gold?
- Is it True? Colossians 3:9 says, “Do not lie to one another.” Some people will pass a story about another without taking the time to VERIFY the accuracy of it. Most people have a tendency to ADD A LITTLE TO the story before passing it on, don’t they? Let us remember to ask, IS IT TRUE?
- IS IT NEEDFUL? Some things about others which may be true are better left UNSAID! Proverbs 17:9 says, “He who repeats a matter alienates a friend.” Just like picking a flower to pieces, petal by petal will destroy its beauty, so the dissection of another’s character may destroy a reputation.
- IS IT KIND? The danger of gossip is multiplied by the fact that we have no control of our words after they leave our lips. A false rumor spreads quickly once started. It is almost impossible to bring it back under control. Ephesians 4:32 says, “And be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgives you.”