Updated: Feb 15, 2022
When I was a boy growing up on the farm I remember quite vividly the peculiar and gruesome practice of chickens pecking other chickens to death. This attack instinct was triggered when the chickens saw another of its own kind bleeding or one that was sick in some way.
Sadly this same practice occurs among Christians in the form of gossip. When a believer has a wounded spirit or is different in some way from the rest, the “brethren” often assume the worst of the supposedly weaker Christian. Any misunderstanding or mistake is a call for concern. The hurting saint is not given the benefit of the doubt nor time to heal. No empathy is shown as to the possible circumstances surrounding the person. Instead the Bible is used as a weapon against the believer rather than a healing balm. Gossip is disguised in the form of prayer requests. There is no room for grace amidst the slander and attacks of character, all thinly veiled by an air of spirituality.
A solution used in the early 20th century to this pecking problem among chickens was eyeglasses with rose-colored lenses. The coloring was thought to keep a chicken wearing them from recognizing blood on other chickens. As Christians we would do well to adopt a similar solution. There is usually very little truth in gossip; often people see things the way they want to see them. We need to remember that we all have sin natures and “blemishes” that could be easily pecked at and gossiped about but rather than attack other believers we should view them as sinners saved by grace, covered with the blood of Jesus Christ. Before we use our mouths to bite and devour others we should use our eyes to maintain the proper perspective.
“The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.” Proverbs 18:8