Our words are very powerful. They can build up, encourage, empower, and bring truth to light. Our words also have the power to tear down, especially in the form of gossip. Proverbs 26:22 described gossip as “tasty morsels” or “choice snacks.” We like to hear and share gossip with others because it “tastes” good. Gossip is rooted in our need to feel good about ourselves. As we pull others down, we gain the illusion that we are moving upward.
That’s why spreading gossip is difficult to resist. It takes prayer, self-discipline, and awareness of God’s grace to bring us to the point where we refuse to pass it on or even listen to it. We turn away from gossip even when it is posed as personal concern or a request to pray for someone in trouble. Let’s continue to ask God for the wisdom to know when to speak, what to speak, and when to simply keep our mouths shut. For “in the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his/her lips is wise” (Proverbs 10:19).
Often, we will have to speak words that bring truth to power. But if we must speak, let’s talk of things that encourage and move others closer to God, not things that will discourage or hurt them.
Lord, Forgive us for the times our words have hurt others. Forgive us our times of gossip and slander. Continue to reveal your grace and faithfulness to us. Allow our words to be your words, that we may continue to encourage, empower, and uplift those we meet daily. Thank you for loving us where we are today. Amen.