The best-known types of computer viruses are known for the manner in which they spread and cause damage. Gossip quickly spreads also. "The words of a gossiper are as self-inflicted wounds, and they have gone down to the inner parts of the heart." Proverbs 18:8
It seems that bad news travels faster than good news. In a society that values information, we often listen to words, which may or may not be true. A few days ago we heard about the New York teenager who gained overnight fame after telling a reporter he had made $72 million trading stocks on his lunch breaks at school. He has apologized on video for 'making it all up'.
This young man's story went viral and people all over the world thought it was true. I was amazed and was happy for him. He told a lie, and thousands believed him. He was not a gossiper, he simply told a lie, and people believed it quickly. A gossiper is a person who habitually spreads intimate or private rumors or facts. Gossip can inflict wounds to the person being talked about. I unintentionally learned this the hard way when I was in college. I gossiped about someone and the word spread quickly. As a result, I hurt many people who were involved. Even now I still feel remorse for my insensitivity.
The old saying by Thumper is true, "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothin' at all."