The words we speak reflect the man or woman we are. There is probably not one other area of your life besides speaking that you exert so much influence over the lives around you. The words you say can bring life and hope, or they can be vile and hurtful, and the choice is always yours.
Speak less, pray more, and know that the Lord is with you. “Understand this, my beloved brothers and sisters. Let everyone be quick to hear [be a careful, thoughtful listener], slow to speak [a speaker of carefully chosen words and], slow to anger [patient, reflective, forgiving]” (James 1:19 AMP).
The words we speak in secret say more about who we are than whoever it is that we might be speaking about. We justify our words about others as if it were not gossiping, yet it is our intent that proves us wrong. We look to elevate ourselves and deprecate another, and gossip is the path we use to get there.
If you have time to talk about other people, then you have time to pray for them. “Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord? Who may enter your presence on your holy hill? Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right, speaking the truth from sincere hearts. Those who refuse to gossip or harm their neighbors or speak evil of their friends” (Psalm 15:1-3 NLT).
A good test of whether or not your words are gossip is how you would feel if the other person knew you said them. Another test is, are the words meant to help others and build them up, or are they meant to help yourself and build you up? It is in the intentions that we prove the value of words we have spoken.
Gossiping is death by words. “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For people will be…malicious gossips…haters of good…” (2 Timothy 3:1-3 NASB).
Gossip is nothing less than a verbal assault where your words stab others in the back. You think there is no harm if they never hear them, but you’re wrong. The harm is against yourself and the type of heart you are forming inside you. Negative words flow from negative hearts. You are what you speak.
People reveal themselves with how they talk about other people behind their backs. “A twisted person spreads rumors; a whispering gossip ruins good friendships” (Proverbs 16:28 TPT).
If you want to be righteous in private, then let your words be such that you would hope other people are listening. Seek to find good things to say about others and seek to find things that you can pray for them about. Never pray critically about others but for a blessing.
We are usually more sensitive to what others say to us than what we say to them. “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one” (Colossians 4:6 NKJV).
If you want to be filled with righteous thoughts, then you must cast off every unrighteous one that comes to mind. When you think something negative about another, simply cast it off in the name of Jesus and ask the Lord to give you thoughts that are loving.
Don’t worry about what people think about you but what you think about them. “In whatever you do, don’t let selfishness or pride be your guide. Be humble, and honor others more than yourselves. Don’t be interested only in your own life, but care about the lives of others too. In your life together, think the way Christ Jesus thought” (Philippians 2:3-5 ERV).
If you want to be a loving person, then you must become a kind person. Say kind things about others both publicly and in private. Talk about their strengths and speak about their accomplishments. The more you steer your mind towards good things, the better things will pour out of your heart.
People need your compassion more than your criticism. “Be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32 NASB).
Whoever you are speaking to is the one who is receiving what is in your heart. Even your animals can tell what is in your heart, and even they know when you are disrespecting them. A good rule of thumb is this: if God created it, then you need to respect it.
Show others the respect you think you deserve. “Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor” (1 Peter 2:17 NIV).
The words we speak may not create worlds, but they can make a world of difference to the life to whom we are speaking. Consider the impact the words of others have had on your life before you speak one more word to anybody else.
Speak to others such that you won’t regret it if it was the last thing you ever told them. “And never let ugly or hateful words come from your mouth, but instead let your words become beautiful gifts that encourage others; do this by speaking words of grace to help them” (Ephesians 4:29 TPT).
Speak words with love wrapped around them. Speak words that build up others, whether you are speaking to them or about them. Speak words that you won’t regret having repeated by the Lord on judgment day. Speak life, and your living will have value.
To be kinder in your words, you must first be kinder in your thoughts. Jesus said, “…What you say flows from what is in your heart” (Luke 6:45 NLT).
Blessings to you,