“Let’s play telephone!” exclaimed my friend Jacob.
We were all at a restaurant for my birthday. We just finished eating, so we were sitting there talking and relaxing. It wasn’t but a moment of silence when Jacob thought of this “wonderful” idea.
Really? I thought to myself. It’s such a silly game. I don’t see the point of it.
But, of course, everyone thought it was a fun idea, so I went with the flow.
If you haven’t played the telephone game before, it’s a game where one person has a “secret.” They then have to whisper it in a person’s ear, and that person has to say it in another person’s ear. This continues until it reaches the last person and the last person has to tell us what the original message was.
Jacob started off the game since it was his idea. He sat there for a few seconds, deep in thought, trying to think of this great kept secret that he had stored up in his mind for years! Finally, he gets a huge smile on his face and says, “Got it!” He then leans over to his left and whispers into the ear of the person next to him.
I watch as my friends went around the circle whispering into each other’s ears. I saw some looks of confusion, heard spurts of giggling, and a few moments of feigned confidence.
And then it was my turn.
My friend, who was sitting adjacent to me, looked at me a with smirk on her face and asked, “Are you ready? Don’t mess up!”
The pressure was on.
The ball was in my courts.
It was all up to me to remember what the original phrase was. How distorted and twisted that message may be after going around in a circle, I still had to tell the whole group what I heard.
My friend leans towards me to whisper in my ear. After she was done, she leaned back in her chair, raised her eyebrows, and had a huge smile on her face.
I looked at her. I looked at my group of friends. I looked back at her. I’m sure my facial expression had a look of confusion. And I said, in an attempt to sound confident but my voice came out in a high-pitched squeak, “Was the phrase, ‘Hippos are purple’?”
My friends burst out laughing and Jacob, unable to catch his breath, said, “I said, ‘Happy birthday, Katie.’”
See how one primary message can be twisted and distorted when it’s spread?
It’s the same way with gossip.
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14. When I share a secret with someone, and they tell another person and that person tells another, that message and secret can be totally different from what I had originally said. I want my words to be okay with God. I don’t want to gossip and say anything that can come off as offensive to the Lord.
I want my words to become sweet like chocolate and not bitter to God. Gossip doesn’t taste too good in the mouth, but bitter. Gossip doesn’t bring pleasure to God, but it hurts Him and those He loves.
Think About It!
- When was the last time, which you can think of that you spread a secret?
- Did they ever find out? If so, how did they react? And if they didn’t find out, imagine that they did. How would that affect your friendship?
- How do you think that would make God feel? Be honest!