Curiosity is a beautiful thing. I love that my kids are curious about life around them. I am so glad that they try to be independent. I encourage them to try new things. To touch, taste, explore all they want (within reason.)
So, the phrase curiosity killed the cat always bothered me. We want our kids to be curious.
Then, I researched the phrase. The origin is that “care” killed the cat.
It is said that “a cat has nine lives, yet care would wear them all out.”
Care being defined as worry or sorrow for others.
Too much worry or sorrow is a burden. You can’t carry it all the time. It will literally kill you. Isn’t that why God tells us to cast all our cares on Him? Isn’t that why He tells us to let Him carry our burden. Isn’t that why He tells us “do not worry.” Over.
And over again.
Do not worry.
Do not worry.
Do not be anxious.
Do not fear.
Let me add another thought.
So many times we use the excuse of “care” to gossip.
How many prayer chains or prayer requests in church are actually reason to talk about other believers? What is our intentions about voicing those requests out loud? Is it to edify our brothers and sisters in Christ? Or is it to tattle? To make ourselves feel important? To bring others down?
I have to confess, one of my biggest flaws and struggles is the sin of gossip. I remember the worst punishment I ever received was when I told a friend – or two – something my parents strictly told me not to tell. I love the feeling of knowing things that others don’t know. It makes me feel more important than I really am.
I also like knowing information. I hate surprises. I hate the unknown. Especially when it comes to people.
What are people thinking of me?
What are people saying about a situation?
What is expected of me?
It stems from pride.
It stems from selfishness.
It stems from worry.
And ultimately it stems from not being centered in Christ.
And it is exhausting. Keeping up with all the gossip and all the worry and all the care is absolutely exhausting.
As always, what does the Bible say about it? Actually, the Bible is full of what you should and should not say or even think. It addresses heart issues, not just the rules and regulations and dos and don’ts. That’s why Jesus was so countercultural. He addressed the heart. Not just the rules.
I love what Proverbs says,
A worthless person, a wicked man,
goes about with crooked speech,
winks with his eyes, signals with his feet,
points with his finger,
with perverted heart devises evil,
continually sowing discord;
therefore calamity will come upon him suddenly;
in a moment he will be broken beyond healing.
There are six things that the Lord hates,
seven that are an abomination to him:
haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that make haste to run to evil,
a false witness who breathes out lies,
and one who sows discord among brothers.
– Proverbs 6:12-19
We don’t usually think of gossip and lying as perversion. God actually calls it an abomination.
The New Testament has a lot to say about gossip.
James said if you can’t bridle your tongue, your religion is worthless. (James 1: 26)
Peter puts meddlers of the same caliber as thieves and murders. (1 Peter 4:15)
Paul says that a wife who is a gossip disqualifies her husband from being a deacon! (1 Tim 3)
Those are just three verses off the top of my head that really put into perspective how seriously the Lord views gossip. What comes out of your mouth is a reflection of your heart. (Jesus said that in Matthew 15:18-20. There He listed slander with murder and adultery.)
So, if you are like me you might wonder, “What’s next. I see my sin. What does the Bible say to do next?”
I’m glad you asked.
First, repent. Ask for forgiveness.
Next, remove the temptations for gossip and worry.
Delete Facebook and social media. Give people your phone number instead.
Take your name off the prayer chain (if that is a fuel for town gossip.)
Immerse yourself in studying the Word and taking care of your house. (If you are too busy doing that, you won’t have time to worry or gossip.)
Pray. Pray without ceasing. Pray for the people you gossiped about. Pray for Jesus to help you not worry and not gossip. Pray for Him to take those temptations away.
And two of my favorite verses:
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Phillipians 4:8)
Do you struggle with worry or gossip?
What are some ways you check your thoughts or speech?