So, you’re sitting with a group of close friends or family and all of a sudden one person says, “Hey, did you hear about so and so?” Maybe, it was you who started the conversation and maybe it wasn’t; but did you join in? Add in another detail of the story you heard? I’m sure we all have been guilty of this at one point or another. Honestly, it’s one of the things I really struggle with. Actually, I have focused a lot on it this week with myself. My quick devotional that popped up on my phone a few days ago was…
Ephesians 4:29 NIV
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Just the night before, I got on my knees by my bed and prayed for God to convict me of things I needed to work on and change. Reading that verse the following morning was like a siren going off in my head. I set a daily reminder on my phone that reminds me of this verse. I had done fairly well in refraining from getting caught up in idle gossip this week. Then today, out of nowhere, something that happened months ago dealing with someone else popped in my head; it had nothing to do with what me and a friend were discussing. What do you think I did? I blabbed; just as quick as it came to my mind, I spit it out. Later I felt guilty and continuously asked myself why, why, why did I just do that? So tonight, I asked God to forgive me and help me to do better.
What about that time when there was someone you were trying to help and they wronged you in some kind of way so you ran and vented to a family member, then a friend, then a cousin…see a pattern? You have to feel vindicated in some kind of way and getting someone to agree with you or side with you is the quickest way of satisfying that inner need. Yep, I’m guilty of that too. Before you know it, you’ve spread something to a handful of people. Who’s to say they won’t spread it a little further and eventually, down the line you can bet on details being changed. It really is a bad habit. What if we went to God with the issue first? He is the best one to help us.
There’s nothing wrong with having someone close you can talk to. I think we should just be more mindful of what comes out of our mouths. Instead of speaking the negative about someone or a situation, let’s find the good, no matter how small it may be and speak it. Rather than tearing one another down, we should be building up one another and giving encouragement. We are all children of God. We ALL sin. Not a one of us is on a pedestal above the other even though it’s easy for us to think that way sometimes. Our sins may be different but they are still sins. Thank goodness for Jesus is all I can say!
So, my lesson for today is if you have to say ‘But don’t tell anyone’ or you start off a sentence with ‘Well, I heard…’ just stop, think, say a silent prayer, and don’t forget to breathe. If you’re sitting there and someone starts speaking negatively about someone, find something positive to say, change the subject, or be bold and put a stop to it in a respectful manner.
Do you have a hard time with this as well? How do you deal? Leave a comment below!