Fools rush in #10. “Rumour has it!”

Fools rush in #10. “Rumour has it!”

Do you remember the story about the man who saw the advertisement that read: “Rolls-Royce $1.00.” Though sceptical—believing it to be a joke or a newspaper misprint—he phoned anyway. The man who answered the phone told him that the offer was genuine and that he must come and collect his $1.00 Rolls-Royce; he had been the only caller. According to the story, the seller’s wife had left him for another man, and that in the divorce settlement he would rather give her half of $1.00 than any of his prized Rolls-Royce.

I have no idea if this was a pre-internet Urban Legend or not. Such stories were prevalent back in the day and spread like wildfire. It wasn’t that the bones of these stories were not sound (to some degree), but that with each retelling the story was fleshed out just that little bit more.

The problem with such “revenge” stories is that there is an assumption that one party is all good and that the other party is all bad. In this case the new “Lucky $1.00 Rolls-Royce owner” is there to lighten the mood. Admittedly, as a joke, it is not bad. But as a gossipy tale told to give hope and instruction to bitter souls, it is hardly Christian.

Scripture speaks to our fascination with the failing lives of others:

“The words of a gossip are like choice morsels;

they go down to the inmost parts” (Proverbs 26:22).

The Christian is in the business of upliftment. So, at every step we stop gossip in its tracks. Scripture offers the simple solution to its spread:

“Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down” (Proverbs 26:20).

Let’s make today’s words count in the upliftment of each other.

John Staiger


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