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<< Encouragement for Today

Encouragement for Today - October 9, 2012

  • 2012 Oct 09
  • COMMENTS

 

Nicki Koziarz

October 9, 2012

Gossip
Nicki Koziarz

"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer." - Psalm 19:14 (NIV 1984)

We hadn't seen each other in a few weeks so I was excited to catch up on my friend's life. Arriving at the restaurant we hugged, took our seats, and ordered some sweet tea. Immediately, we started talking about what had been going on in our lives and dug into a discussion about the previous month's events.

Just a few minutes into our catch-up session, a person's name {who I didn't care for} came up. My friend told me a story that made me dislike this person even more. I then told my friend a story about this same person that made her dislike them more too.

And so our conversation went ...

When I left the restaurant, there was a sick feeling inside me. My thoughts wandered through our conversation and I felt deeply convicted it'd been nothing but idle talk.

The crazy thing was, in the midst of the conversation, I didn't even realize what was happening. I thought I was just catching up with an old friend. But the reality is, I was gossiping.

I wish I could tell you this eye-opening moment changed me and I never spoke badly of someone again. But I am a woman who consistently finds herself in need of God's grace, mercy and forgiveness.

Today's key verse, Psalm 19:14, has been helpful for me to remember how God desires my heart and words to be filled with things that honor Him.

Scripture is teaching me so much about my words. I'm learning I am accountable to God for them (Matt. 12:36). I see by guarding my words, I can keep myself from a lot of problems (Prov. 21:23). And I'm understanding how I have the ability to speak life or death through the words I use (Prov. 18:21).

As I've been allowing these Truths to shape my character, I've begun to understand how my slip-ups (sin) move me further away from God. One of the greatest deceptions of sin is that we often don't realize what we've done until it's too late.

But thankfully God is always willing to forgive us and empower us to become stronger in Him.

So how should we handle conversations like these?

Preventing gossip is one of the greatest ways to not get caught up in it. Some days I have to consciously say to myself, "I don't want to dishonor anyone with my words today." I've asked God to make me aware of conversations that don't bring honor. "A prudent man keeps his knowledge to himself, but the heart of fools blurts out folly." (Prov. 12:23 NIV 1984)

Another way we can handle gossip-centered conversations is by ignoring them. Just because we've heard the latest juicy scoop doesn't mean we have to continue to spread it. "A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret." (Prov. 11:13 NIV)

Lastly, confronting the friend who we're gossiping about is important. If we have an issue with someone, we should go directly to that person. It takes more courage to confront someone than it does to ignore him or her, or talk about them behind their back. If something's bothering us, we should deal with it with the right person. "If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over." (Matt. 18:15 NIV)

I'm still working through this. I felt horrible for how my conversation went that day at the restaurant. But, I'm challenged to prevent, ignore or confront conversations like these. I want my words and my heart to be pleasing to God.

Dear Lord, as I continue to work out my word-struggles with You, thank You for Your grace, mercy and forgiveness. Please help me to keep these Truths close to my soul so I can better represent You with my words each day. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Visit Nicki's blog today for 10 ways to speak life to someone today.

Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst

All Things Wise and Wonderful e-Book by Wendy Blight

30 Days to Taming Your Tongue and accompanying Workbook by Deborah Smith Pegues

Reflect and Respond:
Do you have a friend you easily gossip with? Why not share this devotion with her today and commit to hold each other accountable to prevent, ignore or confront?

Why do you think gossip is such a struggle? Leave a comment today and let's discuss this.

Power Verse:
Proverbs 18:21, "The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit." (NIV)

© 2012 by Nicki Koziarz. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
www.Proverbs31.org

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