Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29
One of the greatest jobs I have as a mother is to instill godly character into my children. To do this, I intentionally utilize both resources and teachable moments. I have found that it is best to learn from life’s blunders. Currently I am reading aloud and discussing the book Love As A Way of Life by Gary Chapman with my youngest daughter, Cayley, as well as the mom group I’m leading. At the end of one of the chapters, I became convicted. There was a challenge to evaluate verbal interactions with others and determine whether or not the words spoken were kind. If any unwholesome words came to mind, the challenge encouraged you to take action and apologize.
My heart sunk as I remembered a phone conversation that I had with a friend. I sent the apology email below to my friend and then read it aloud to my daughter. Even though I was embarrassed by my blunder, I wanted to use it as a teachable moment. Words do matter and carry weight.
Visit me over at I Take Joy as I explore whether I was gossiping or simply sharing my heart and frustration with a friend?
I encourage you to ponder the following poem shared by Ann Landers many years ago.
“My Name Is Gossip. I have no respect for Justice.
I maim without killing. I break hearts and ruin lives.
I am cunning and malicious and gather strength with age.
The more I am quoted the more I am believed.
I flourish at every level of society.
My victims are helpless. They cannot protect themselves against me because I have no name and no face.
To track me down is impossible. The harder you try, the more elusive I become.
I am nobody’s friend.
Once I tarnish a reputation, it is never quite the same.
I topple governments and ruin marriages.
I ruin careers and cause sleepless nights, heartache and indigestion.
I spawn suspicion and generate grief.
I make innocent people cry in their pillows.
Even my name hisses. I AM CALLED GOSSIP.” Office gossip. Shop gossip. Party gossip. I make headline and headaches. Before you repeat a story ask yourself. Is it true? Is it fair? Is it necessary?
If not – KEEP QUIET.