Thursday, July 26, 2012

Scripture Thursday ~ The Power of Words

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth,but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.  Ephesians 4:29 (KJV)

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Last week’s verse was from Psalm 141:3 and had to do our mouths as well. 
Set a watch, O Lord before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.  Psalm 141:3 (KJV)
I’m continuing with the same theme this week. 

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 ways we can get ourselves into trouble with our mouths is through gossip. According to Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, gossip is:

One who runs from house to house, tattling and telling news; an idle tattler
To prate; to chat; to talk much
To run about and tattle; to tell idle tales.

In the Bible Study book Growing in Wisdom and Faith by Elizabeth George (a study on the book of James), we learn about three categories of gossip.

Malicious Gossip ~ consciously and deliberately hurtful.  Based on envy and rooted in selfishness.  Designed to break up relationships and destroy friendships.

…..a whisperer separates the best of friends.  Proverbs 16:28 NKJV

A talebearer reveals secrets, but he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter. 
Proverbs 11:13

Rationalization Gossip ~ Quite a bit more subtle than “Malicious”.  The person who rationalizes has convinced themselves that they are doing it for “the good” of the other person.  This kind of gossip can be very destructive.

Where there is no wood, the fire goes out; And where there is no talebearer, strife ceases.
Proverbs 26:20

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Innocent Gossip
~ A person who is truly concerned but sometimes motivated by the desire to be “helpful” and perhaps prove to others just how helpful she really is. 

You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people;  nor shall you take a stand against the life of your neighbor…  Leviticus 19:16 NKJV

With some of the online social medias, and the ability to text, email or communicate from anywhere with a touch of a button, gossip is readily available to anyone who has the time or interest to read it. 

The north wind brings forth rain, And backbiting tongue an angry countenance.
Proverbs 25:23
NKJVThis is a brief well done music video about our tongues, and is a good lesson for all, children through adults.

I know of one woman whose pregnancy was announced on a social media before she had an opportunity to tell her parents the good news.  I’m sure you can think of some instances where news was told before someone was ready or wanted to tell it. Perhaps it’s even happened to you.

If it's not YOUR news, don't:
tell it,

type it,
text it or
tweet it. 

If someone has shared a prayer request with you, pray for them.  But please, please do not take it upon yourself to spread the word for everyone you know to pray as well, UNLESS the individual has asked you to.  If you don’t have permission, this falls under the category of “Innocent Gossip”.

Put yourself in that person’s situation, would you want your issue mentioned far and wide?  Probably not!  Many people are private about their personal business, such as health issues.  If you had a diagnosis of cancer, you most likely would like to tell your loved ones and friends in your own way, in your own time. 

Thank you for stopping by today my friends.  I hope this today’s post will serve as a refresher course to be mindful of our words (myself included).  As women, our words pack a lot of power, especially in social circles. Do what you need to do to tame your tongue.  Use it to HELP, not hurt; to ENCOURAGE, not discourage; to LOVE, not hate; to BUILD UP, not tear down; to SOOTHE, not sting.


Vee said...

Social Media...blah! It has been the bane of my existence with those who have the maturity of five-year-olds. It's why I do NOT do Facebook, Twitter, and whatever else. I just BLOG. Ha! Thank you for another good word. The test you provide is a good one.

TLady said...

I feel like Vee! I ONLY BLOG! I have to say Abby, your video is quite FITTING with your post! And it is ALWAYS the innocent who pay the price!!!!!!!!!! EXCELLENT POST today! :)

Shoregirl said...

Very timely truth, Abby! It's so easy to look around and see others shortcomings in this area, but I'm praying "Lord help me not to be guilty of gossip!" and "Set a watch before MY lips!"
I really like your little saying:
"If it's not YOUR news, don't:
tell it,
type it,
text it or
tweet it. "
Thanks for sharing your wisdom again this week! I enjoy reading your posts -- they are a breath of fresh air in the blog world!

Sü Smith said...

This is such an important message especially in today's world. You get down to the nuts and bolts of true Christianity on your blog Abby, and I have a lot of gratitude for this.

Gemiel said...

Abby, thanks so much for your devotion today. I can always use a reminder about the tongue and the part about innocent gossip really hit home. I hadn't heard of innocent gossip before and I need to be mindful in this area. I would love to share this devotion with my bible study group if it's ok with you.

Granggie said...

Excellent Abby! Thank you for all the reminders.
You're a blessing!

Mrs. Smith said...

Wise words, my friend. So good to see all of the scripture that you pulled in on the subject too.

Natalie said...

Thanks for sharing the wisdom that God has available to all of us. I once heard that gossip was like taking a feather pillow up to a high steeple and shaking all the feathers out. It's impossible to gather all those feathers back, the damage has been done. It's the same with our words...

MaxineD said...

Thank you Abby - wonderful words once again - and thank you to Natalie for sharing her feather pillow analogy.

Pamela said...

This is a classic and should be reposted many times! Social media can be such a blessing. But oh, how it can hurt when Biblical principles aren't applied.

What Joy Is Mine said...

Abby...what a fabulous post! Great scriptural reminder of what is expected of us and our words. I am featuring you this week over at WJIM. Thank you for sharing friend. :o)

Jennifer said...

Thank you very much for sharing! It truly is wiser to listen and not speak. Thank you for all the wonderful scriptural reminders!

Pamelyn said...

This is such a great reminder! I, too, had never considered the dangers of "innocent gossip". Your blog is both encouraging and wise. Thanks for sharing!