I love reading, but more than that I love reading non-fiction. Real life stories, history of all sorts, weird true pieces of human history that most people would find pointless and boring. I read a book once about the founder of the "Akron Tire and Rubber Company" and I did it in less than a week. I read the biography of Monty Roberts, a real life "Horse Whisperer". called "The Man Who Talks to Horses". And then there are the bizarre reads, "Queen City Notorious: Cincinnati's Most Sensational Murder Cases" and "Queen City Gothic: Cincinnati's Most Infamous Murder Cases". These were the ones I may have needed to stop reading after dark...super creepy. The weird, the boring, the unknown, these are generally the titles that I gravitate towards at the old bookstore or the library.
Mark Twain said, "Truth is stranger than fiction..." While I don't disagree I would say, "Truth is stranger than fiction but fiction is a much quicker read."
It's rare but every great once in a while I'll swing by the library and find something that is clearly far-fetched and blatantly fiction. Sometimes it feels as though I just need a break from real-life, I need to get lost in something ridiculous. I'm currently in the midst of one of those seasons right now. As I was reading my latest library grab "The 49th Mystic" I was surprised by how quickly I was progressing through the book. Before I knew it, I was almost halfway through and it felt like I had just arrived home from the library. I wondered, "Why is it that I can read fiction at a quicker pace than I can read non-fiction?" As I read my mind lingered around that question and I was reminded of words from the Bible.
Proverbs 18:8 says, "Rumors are dainty morsels that sink deep into one’s heart." We love a good story don't we? I've always joked that the best stories start out with the story teller looking over their shoulder to see if anyone else is listening. We love those "dainty morsels" and rumors that get passed around. Unfortunately the truth or appropriateness behind the morsels often becomes irrelevant. There's something about hearing bits of rumors that gets our blood pumping right? Much like my fictional reading these "dainty morsels" can be full of real-life plot twists, back stabbing and gotcha moments. What we often forget in our hunt for those morsels is the end result. The Scripture makes clear that those "dainty morsels" find their way into our hearts and when they do we run the risk of damaging what isn't ours to damage.
As a Christ follower you gave your heart to God and invited His Son Jesus to rule and reign in your heart. There's no room for "dainty morsels" of gossip and inappropriate tidbits of information in there. There's one throne of your heart and Jesus refuses to share it with anyone or anything else. We often attempt to excuse away our "dainty morsel" addiction as simple curiosity or genuine concern over a particular situation and never bother to stop and ask if what we're hearing is even true. Beyond that we never stop to ask if any of these "dainty morsel" are even any of our business. We thrive on those "dainty morsels". It feels good to get "the scoop" on the latest news in the office, the neighborhood or even at the church but let's call it what it is, "GOSSIP". When we partake we damage the hearts of others and ourselves. Steer clear. Be encouraged and keep moving forward.