This weeks devotional comes to us from guest blogger Teresa Pollard.
Pssst, did you hear?
Read Romans 1: 28-32
Did you know that God puts gossip on a par with murder, greed, evil, strife and hatred of God Himself? Why? What’s the harm in a little gossip? Didn’t we always hear as children that “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me?” I think that’s one of the biggest lies Satan ever perpetrated. By His Word, the world was spoken into being, and since we are created in His image, we need to recognize the powerful nature of our words. The church is the last place you’d think gossip would abound, but unfortunately, it isn’t always. And sometimes we cloak our gossip in the supposed piety of “praying for them.”
Even as a small child, I had a poor self-image. My Mom had always called us kids her 4B’s; the boy, the brains, the beauty, and the baby. I was “the brains,” so I never had any doubt of my mental abilities, but I knew that I was ugly in my Mom’s opinion. She told me so. At school, comments reinforced that opinion. On the other hand, my sister, “the beauty,” grew up with the belief that she was a typical “dumb blond.” Nothing could be further from the truth, but it damaged her self- image for a long time!
THINK is an anagram everyone should remember before speaking.
- T— Is it TRUE? How do you know? Is it fact or opinion? Are you willing to name your source? If not, that should be the end of it right there.
- H—Is it HELPFUL? Even if true, does the information edify or does it tear down? Ask yourself why you feel such a strong need to share this information with someone. Is it for their benefit, or for yours?
- I—Is it IMPORTANT? In the grand scheme of things, what does it really matter if someone had a bad hair day or their clothing didn’t meet your standards?
- N—Is it NECESSARY? There are things that need to be shared, but only in the proper place or to the proper authorities.
- K—Is it KIND? One of the fruits of the Spirit is kindness. How would you feel if someone shared this about you?
Hopefully remembering these simple steps will make us more conscious of our words as we seek to build others, Christian or non-Christian, up for the kingdom. We will never win someone to Christ by stomping on them. Love is the key. Yes, God hates sin. We should never trivialize it. Gossip and malicious words are a sin just as much as anything else someone might be doing is. Maybe if we can just love them into the kingdom, they will give testimony to how God has brought them through to the other side of their sin.
Prayer: May my words always be pleasing in Your sight, Lord.
Teresa Pollard is from Richmond, Virginia, and was saved at a young age. She has a Masters degree in English and Creative Writing from Hollins College, and has served as a Sunday School teacher and children’s worker for most of the last forty years. Married for forty years, she was devastated by divorce and the death of her youngest daughter, but God has blessed her with a new home and another grandson, and she now resides in Dacula, Georgia. Her website is TeresaPollardWrites.com