Her stance said it all. Her head was cocked to the side in just the right way, her eyes looked from left to right and her lips almost kissed the ear of the woman she was speaking to.
It’s interesting how the sin we think we keep so discreet is often so apparent.
She was gossiping. Clear as day, I could tell just by looking at her that she was gossiping.
And, sure enough, as I walked by her, I heard the complaints running a mile a minute about another. I also felt them run like a rabid animal right into my heart. I felt like my insides were being eaten with the venom she was speaking because I had trusted her with my own heart.
The truth is if someone speaks poorly to you about another, they are likely speaking poorly to another about you. Deep down you know you can never trust that person again, because they will plaster your heart on the biggest billboard in town.
Words cut faster than a paper cut and their effects last a lot longer.
They push others away.
They can make you untrustworthy.
Do your words build trust or deplete it?
The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Prov. 12:8
While I am sure her discussions were just a way of connecting with another,
or showing that she was valuable and interesting,
or highlighting all the pain that she is going through,
or bringing up issues that she thought were important,
or making herself feel good,
they sure weren’t healing, helping or heartening.
But her words get me thinking about my words.
Although they may not be prone to gossip,
how prone are they to injury?
Am I piercing or healing?
Helping or hurting?
I don’t want to be the one remembered for the horsepower of my mouth.
Or by the crippling force of my words.
Or for my steamrolling comebacks.
Or for my speedy concierge advice.
Yet, the hard truth is, my words have not always been flowers to a broken heart.
They injure my husband when I question his plan.
My son, when I give him a “Ya, ya, ya” and then look at my iPhone.
My loved ones, when I snap back annoyed.
Myself, when I chide my heart for bad actions.
Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Prov. 16:24
My words compel my heart to forgive her bad words. Will I share my heart with her again? Likely not.
Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces. Mt. 7:6
I certainly don’t want to be trampled again, yet, I won’t condemn her for her bad actions, because I am just as at fault as she.
When we forgive the one who has hurt us, we are acknowledging and activating the power and grace of Jesus Christ. We all need more of that.
What power of Jesus do you need to let flow from you?
Who might God be placing on your heart to forgive?
Likewise, who might you need to turn to and request forgiveness for words that have cut to the core?
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— Eph. 2:4-5
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15 CommentsLeave a comment
Oh- gossip is so ugly. And so hurtful. I don’t want to be remembered for the horsepower of my words. But sometimes I find myself envying those who can provide a quick, slamming comeback – or who can formulate a stunning argument. But you are right. I need to remind myself that my words should not have horsepower. They should be fueled with the power of love. To bless others and spread grace and truth… so that others will know HIm. Thanks for this beautifully written reminder. I’m amazed at your ability to write so well and so often! 🙂
Yes, Karen. I pray that we both can jumpstart our words with the power of Christ’s love. Your comment speaks to my heart.
The horsepower of words – well said. Wise words. Thanks, neighbor. Blessings to you and yours!
Thanks Mari-Anna. Blessings to you too! Let’s speak in the power of love.
True words, Kelly! When I became a Christian, God began a complete ‘overhaul’ in my heart about this very topic. We need to be so careful about what we share. Thankfully God is there, and we can talk to Him about anything and everything! When we share with Him, we KNOW our words won’t go any further. And, when we are tempted to gossip, we can go to Him with that as well. Great thoughts today!
Hi Kristine, We do have to be so careful. People listen and people talk and reputations are built on the words that come out of our mouths. God does know and he does hear us. I praise him for that. Great point.
Hi Kelly!! Thanks for sharing, I really needed this today!! I’ve been hurt by so many people the last year and have been having a hard time forgiving them. I know that I’ve been forgiven for so much, so how can I do any less? Hugs!!
That is so right Abby. You can’t do less. I love how you put that. I pray that you can forgive and release all the burdens of your heart (aka. people) who have hurt you into your loving Father’s hands.
Very convicting post!I have participated in gossip…maybe I was angry or upset, didn’t have anything else to say or felt empty. Whatever the reason, I know it’s not good. I know that God doesn’t approve. Thankfully, He pours out his grace and mercy, and I can make a conscious effort to not gossip!
He hears your request for forgiveness and forgives. Done. Thank you for your honesty Laura. We have all spoken an ill-word. Praying that we rest in his grace.
Though I am not prone to gossip, your post really has me thinking about what comes out of my mouth…is it edifying? uplifting? encouraging? I am learning more and more that sometimes the best course of action is to remain silent – guard my words lest they be damaging to someone else. Thanks for a great, and needed, post…you’ve got me thinking!
Sometimes, you are so right, we just have to keep our literal trap shut. God works really powerfully in silence. People can hear him. Ha!
How powerful our words can be! I like the title “Horse power of words”.
I like your honesty too, we also may be at fault but we are careful who we speak to about the contents of our hearts.
HMMh !!! So we make sure they don’t go about telling others about us.
Very thoughtful, thanks for sharing this.
Seeing myself in every side of this, Kelly. Oh how I need reminding each day to be careful with my words!
God will refine our hearts as we refine our words. I feel compelled to change too Sabra.