Wednesday, August 22, 2012

To Fight "the Crime"

Someone was over for lunch. A trivial bit of information about a person came to my mind. 
"You know..." I began to say. Before I could say any more, A Diet of Words, a post that I read the other day, stopped me. The post was all about speaking words that heal, instead of hurt. I realized that useless gossip, often does hurt yourself and others. What now, though? I quickly tried to think of something more relevant and meaningful to say instead. I glanced at the table. It had the casserole dish containing vegan quiche on it, which our visitor had brought. Ah, yes!
"Thank you for sharing this quiche with us," I continued my sentence, "It was really tasty!"
Mum smiled and agreed. It really was good. The visitor grinned and told how they had made it -- in a quick bid to use up some pak choy they had pulled out of their garden.

I was thrilled, with God's help, to have been able to stop the tide of trivia from spilling from my mouth, and say something meaningful instead. 

But mixed in with success, is failure too. At least it was for me, that day. Not many hours after my victory, I gave an opinion on someone. As it came time to feed and milk the goats, I thought about what I'd said. I couldn't deny it -- it was gossip. Before reading Heather's post, I'd not given it much practical thought, but, that night, I did. The words of Paul came to my mind, 
“They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” (Romans 1:29b-32)
It's not right of me to participate or even just listen, because both, encourages it.

So, I'd failed. What now though? More of the concepts in "Diet of Words" joined my train of thought.
When finding yourself talking about someone not present, stop, explain your "diet of words" and pray for the person, instead.
Unfortunately, it was too late to follow the advice to a tee. I determined it wasn't too late to learn from my mistake, though.
When the milking was finished, and I'd returned to the house, I knelt down. Asked for God's forgiveness. Prayed for His blessing and guidance in the lives of these friends. I knew it would be a blessing for them, but it blessed me too. Peace filled me.

I hope to do this again, in the future -- but before the words even come out of my mouth. By God's grace, I want to turn every would-be-conversation-about-someone into a prayer for them, instead. Even if it means saying, "At the moment, I feel like talking about this person; instead, can we pray for them right now?"

Elyssa, is right. It's a cruelty and a crime we don't think about much: gossiping. It seperates friends and can make us suspicious and bitter. But it's something that everyone does. For a long time, I've known deep down, that it's not the best to gossip.  I didn't quite know what to do about this problem though. That's when I came across the "Say it to Her Face" Challenge. I saw the merit in it. Appreciated the wisdom. I've decided to join in.

I know I'll fail at times. But, I know too, that I can succeed, in Christ. I know, because I've experienced victory. We can fight this crime.

Will you join me?

*Disclaimer: This is a personal conviction God has placed on my heart. Please do not feel forced to take this on as your conviction (unless the Holy Spirit has been prompting you in this area).

7 comments:

  1. Wow Stella!! I really appreciate this post, and it goes so well with the previous post! It balanced the other one out. This is like part 2. :)

    God is good, to plan it out and put these things on our hearts at the same time. :)

    And yes, I will join you!!! Let's pray for eachother in this are!

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  2. I really appreciated this post, because it is true. I, unfortunately (and fortunately) learned that words can be cruel. It has taught me to not spread gossip and be mindful of what I say about those not present, especially when I have not been told firsthand the information by that person. "When finding yourself talking about someone not present, stop, explain your "diet of words" and pray for the person, instead." Yes! :) The Lord knows best and can take care of the situation, where oftentimes if we speak, we can cause damage.

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    Replies
    1. Hi girls,

      Here is an excellent article on Gossip: http://www.bibleistrue.com/qna/qna74.htm
      It has a lot of Scripture explanations as well as explanation of the Greek words. It was a great study for me.

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    2. Great study, Sam, thanks for sharing.
      It looks like gossip is done with the intent to harm, and not to build up, and not out of love either. We must be careful with our speech, and ask ourselves if the words coming out of our mouth are going to harm others, especially if we aren't saying those words to other's faces.

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    3. Sam?
      I think you might have me confused with someone else... but you had good points there. I never want to intentionally harm someone. Therefore all I speak should be truth and nothing but the truth with facts to back it up. My pastor recommended that study to me and I thought it explained gossip well because people tend to get confused that simply by talking about someone else, they are gossiping.

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    4. Sorry, about that. Yes, I did have you confused. :/
      But yes, good study, it gave me a much more clear picture of what gossip really is. :)

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  3. So true!! I try to never say anything that I wouldn't say directly to someone's face. :) It's helped me a lot this past year or so. I try to always speak words that I would never be ashamed of.... but I also know that sometimes God calls us to speak up and not be ashamed of the truth either. If someone asks me a direct question and I have a 100% true answer, then I should speak up when God prompts me too. (not talking about gossip here but truth and facts and knowledge that I have firsthand) (Remember, all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing)
    Praying always helps!

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