James 3: 9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
We all gossip. Whether you realize it or not you have been guilty of gossip. It can start innocently enough – a simple statement, a question of concern, looking to friends for advice. But in the blink of an eye the conversation can go from “Hey I don’t know what is wrong, but Lisa has been acting weird lately. Should we say something?” to ” She is being such a brat. Maybe its cuz she’s dating Dave again – they only got back together because they are desperate and …. etc.”
How do you stay away from gossip? I catch myself in it constantly. And I am usually right in the middle of saying something awful when I catch myself – something that I would be ashamed of my sisters hearing me say. Gossip is like a spider spinning a web – The black widow spinning her web – starting small, catching unsuspecting prey in it as the web grows. The gossip is the web. The prey are not only the people you talk about – but the friends you unknowingly suck into your gossiping ways. In the past 8 months – I have been both too many times to count.
1 1/2 years ago I began a journey to purify my heart. I cleansed my soul. Changed the words I used. Made an intentional effort to build my relationship with Christ and to surround myself with friends who would encourage me to dive head first into His love. I was in a fantastic bible study with young adults who were so wise and so willing to share their knowledge of the Lord with me. We built healthy, nurturing relationships with each other. I’ll never forget the night when my friend said some of the wisest words I have ever heard ( Ill have to put it in my own words because it was long enough ago I cant remember exactly how she said it)- When you say something, the words can never be unsaid. They will travel on for eternity, they never go away. Would you rather be filling the universe with words of hate or with words of love and encouragement?
8 months ago I moved away and started working on finishing my education. I go to a fairly small school in a decent sized yet small town. My major is in Agriculture – one of the smallest tight knit communities on campus. Everyone knows your name and your business. In my search for friends and acceptance I got sucked into the spiders’ web. I have caught myself in the middle of more conversations full of gossip than I ever have in my entire life – even more than in high school because in high school, I kept to myself. I didn’t care whom had slept with so and so last week. I don’t care now either- but it is addicting. To know all about someone you have never met – to be able to walk into a room, know everyone, know who they are dating, cheating on and who its with and how many times.
To just listen and absorb all that knowledge is bad for the soul. I can feel my soul building walls – keeping the good out. It hurts my heart, my soul, my spirit. It REALLY hurts my prayer life. I can feel it hurting my relationship my future spouse. How can you build a sturdy foundation for your relationship without having a pure heart?
James 3: 5 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. 6 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. 7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
I have 2 months left at this school. I am beginning to purify my heart. It takes time and it hurts – I know that it will take a while before I am back to where I was 8 months ago. I know that I will have to separate myself from situations where gossip runs rampant and place my thoughts in the Lord instead. I have been a bad example of Christ the past few months – but it is never too late to start over. Gods’ grace is amazing.
1st Timothy 5:22 …do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.
Matthew 12:36 But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.