A farmer’s wife spread gossip about her pastor all over the region. Later, she confessed to him that the story was untrue and asked him to forgive her. He said, “I will if you do one thing. Go home, kill a chicken, pluck its feathers, put them in a basket, then go all over our town and scatter some on each corner; scatter the rest from high in the bell tower, then come back.” When she returned, he said, “Now go gather all the feathers.” “That is impossible!” she said. “You are right,” the pastor said. “I forgive you, but you must realize you can never undo the damage you have done.” King David’s enemies spread lies about him in their effort to seize his throne. He found comfort by turning to God and left us some advice on how to deal with slander. In Psalm 62, he said, “So many enemies are against one man… They plan to topple me from my high position. They delight in telling lies about me. They praise me to my face but curse me in their hearts. Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him… O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge.” So when others slander us, or we are tempted to slander others, remember: we can never recall untrue words any more than we can gather scattered feathers.
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