Some of the best advice around is simple…keep your mouth shut!
Somebody once said ‘that after all is said and done, there is much more said than done.’
Speaking inappropriately about someone else is an age old problem that will never go away. We have to learn to live with the fact that people will always gossip in order to drag someone down, whilst making themselves look better.
Praying that gossiping will stop sounds great, but in reality it’s here to stay. However, for you and I, we have a choice to make. It’s a tough one, in fact the Bible says it’s the most difficult thing in the world for a human being to do.
James 3:2-12 We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check. When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig-tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
It’s pretty obvious what this passage of scripture is saying – don’t profess to be a Christian and then keep spewing out a load of unkind and unnecessary words that render you a hypocrite. Instead, give your mouth over to God and allow fresh and living water to flow from it daily, bringing life and light to all that hear.
It’s not at all easy, but it’s completely necessary to learn to train your speech, so that you won’t fall into the trap of starting fires wherever you go.
Here are a few pointers to help you harness your tongue and keep it from evil from now on…
• Two ears and one mouth are there for a reason; listen twice as much as you speak.
• If in doubt, say nothing.
• Ask yourself: is what I am about to say going to build or burn someone?
• Stop being a know-it-all…people despise a know-it-all.
• Speak up for injustice, but don’t speak down to people and make them feel small.
• Your opinion may be important, but only if its asked for.
• Do you find it hard to say nothing? Good. You’re supposed to.
• When you feel that you want to say something unkind about someone, remind yourself that you don’t know all the facts.
• How would you want to be spoken of when you weren’t present in a room full of accusers? Exactly! Now do the same for others.
• Have a reputation as being a gossip? Change it today. It’s never too late.
• Say sorry to those you’ve offended and hurt up until now and move on to a whole new way of speaking.
2 Timothy 2:15-17 ‘Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. Their teaching will spread like gangrene…’
A daily devotion for a better way of living.