A lesson from a cow? Yes, a cow.
Let me explain. Originally, this devotion was going to be about how little things or decisions in life can have huge consequences. I was going to use the famous story of how O’Leary’s cow knocked over the lantern that caused the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.
I was searching for the name of the cow. I never found the name, but I discovered much more.
Seems, the story of this cow kicking over a lantern is more than likely a rumor. Yes, a story that is probably NOT true. There’s not one shred of evidence that a cow had anything to do with this disaster.
So, this rumor that has been passed down for over a hundred years, written in history books, made into movies.. a rumor? Yes.
In fact, the O’Learys were so devastated by the public’s ridicule of them, that they moved away and some say that Mrs. O’Leary died of a broken heart.
Seem silly? Have you ever had a rumor told about you? If so, did you try and prove it to be NOT true? I have. It can be devastating to your integrity, your marriage, family and your career. It can even bring shame on the name of Christ.
Have you ever passed or even started a rumor? Wait. You say “Not me!” Are you sure?
See a rumor is much like that Great Chicago
Fire. You think it’s just “innocent talk”, but it’s far from innocent. It’s dangerous. It spreads quickly and can easily destroy people’s lives.
It can even destroy YOUR witness.
What does the Bible say about those who spread rumors?
Proverbs 20:19 “Whoever spreads gossip betrays confidences; so don’t get involved with someone who talks too much.”
How should we react when someone wants to gossip? Try and remove yourself from the situation. If you can’t, change the subject. “Don’t add wood on the fire.”
Proverbs 26:20-21 “Without wood, a fire goes out. Without gossip, arguments stop. Charcoal keeps the coals glowing, wood keeps the fire burning, and troublemakers keep arguments alive.”
Prayer starter: “Father, forgive me for the time that I have allowed myself to spread gossip and rumors. Give me the strength to avoid those who would participate in this kind of behavior. In Jesus name. Amen.”