We all do it or have done it. Sometimes it comes out and we don’t even realize it. Words form and before we can stop them they spill from our mouth. Without intention, we are the very thing we were told not be in Titus 2 verse 3, a slanderer.
What really is a slanderer? According to the Meriam-Webster Dictionary it is someone who will accuse someone else falsely or misrepresent them in order to defame or damage their reputation. And isn’t this exactly what we do when we gossip?
I hate to admit that I have been the person who used gossip and hurt people that have been close to me and also those who are just acquaintances. It is a hard pill to swallow to walk knowingly with the fact that my words have been used to wound hearts deeply. I walk with regret of having done this every day and wish that I could take back words that I said, but I cannot and it pains me.
As women who want to serve Christ we have to guard our tongues at all times. 1 Timothy 3:11 says, “In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.” Can you honestly say this is you right now? I want to be the kind of woman in Proverbs 11:13, “a gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret”, whom other women want to go to talk to and trust with their life secrets; the ins and outs that make life turn. I do not want to be a woman who spreads half truths about another woman and hurts with words.
James 3 says that a tongue out of control indicates a life out of control which can cause a lot of destruction. What, or should I say who, is the source of an uncontrolled tongue? Yep, Satan. He is the root of all gossip and harmful talk and slander. You (WE) need to know who you are working for when you are engaged in gossip.
The Greek word for slander is diabolos which happens to be used 34 times in the New Testament. Diabolos also means Satan and he is and will forever be a false accuser. He is the source of all evil. Do not allow him to have control over your tongue. Instead let yourself be prompted by the Holy Spirit to say what is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report.
Here are three steps to help you not be the woman who speaks hurtful words:
1. Think first. Pause long enough to ask yourself if what you are about to say is true or false, exaggerated or accurate, healing or hurtful, grateful or complaining.
2. Talk less. The Bible says that it is the wise who talk less. Speak only with words of God.
3. Start now. Ask God to reveal to you when you are about to gossip or be harmful to another woman through your words and pray that he will guide you in saying what is necessary and not hurtful.
I found it helpful to look up more verses in the Bible that speak about gossip, slander, and harmful talk. I had no idea that there were so many verses that spoke against this. No, seriously. Try it. Find a concordance and go for it. I would list them all, but it would take another page to share them, but here are a few that you can look at to further your study time: Proverbs 16:28, 18:8, 20:19, 26:20, 26:22; Romans 1:29; 2 Corinthians 12:20; Leviticus 19:16…
Oh Lord, my tongue seems to have a mind of its own except we both know that is not true and I need to not make excuses for myself when I have done wrong. Help me to realize my words before they spill from my mouth and hurt someone I care about. Use my words for good and not evil and help me to be trustworthy in everything. Amen.