I have a confession to make. I am a gossip. Well, not normally, but right now our family is experiencing something that is on my mind constantly. So, proving that what we think about influences behavior, the talk starts. #gossip
It seems the more I talk, the gossipier I sound. Heck, the gossipier I am!
There is an Old Testament proverb that has kept coming to mind.
In the multitude of words sin is not lacking,
But he who restrains his lips is wise.
Proverbs 10: 19 (NKJV)
The Message version puts like this: The more talk, the less truth; the wise measure their words. That is plain enough.
In fact, the Christian Bible has a lot to say about what we say. In the New International Version, the word “mouth” is mentioned 303 times. “Lips” is mentioned 126 times. While “tongue” comes up 133 times and “word” a whopping 959 times. #holdyourtongue
I think the reason words are such a big deal is that they contain power. True a word all by its little ole self it just a collection of symbols that represent something else, but how words get used, well, can be as damaging as any stick or stone. #wordshavepower
It also turns out that this relatively small part of the human body is one of the hardest things on earth to tame.
For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. – James 3:7-9 (ESV)
What I have found for me is that gossip often comes from a place of hurt and protectiveness of loved ones. See, it is really the heart from which the mouth speaks, and while your emotions may be more than justified, it does not mean you are doing a situation any good with the words you choose. Or that you are in the right.
It would do us all good to remember the prudence of Proverbs 17:28:
Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning
if they hold their tongues.
I hope I do better next time.