Don't indulge in conversation that is harsh, bitter, critical, impatient, crude, vulgar, or unrefined.
Christian women from the beginning of times have needed desperately to fight a stereotype….gossip. Most men will tell you that their wives are gossipers, like a child telling you that their parents are nicer in public; husbands are quick to admit that a five minute phone call to her best friend will turn into a two hour gab-fest (otherwise known as “catch-up time”).
In fact, I have certain “friends” that talking to them is nothing but gossip. “What’s going on with her? Who is she with now? She’s marrying who?” Shouldn’t I be asking, “How’s your relationship with the Lord?” If I’m talking to my friend on the phone, shouldn’t I be concerned with her, not someone else?
My pastor tells us how it is (praise the Lord). He said that people, including Christians, love to see people mess up. And he’s right, because instead of me asking about someone so I can pray for them or discussing situations so I can pray, almost always, my #1 motive is DIRT. I want to know the “juicy” stuff.
Not only that, but I have found myself just wanting to “discuss” someone, their behaviors, their life, just to see if someone else agrees with me. “Am I the only one that notices that Sue raises her voice at her husband?” What does that end up accomplishing? Thirty minutes of gossiping on the other times we’ve seen Sue mess up, or her husband. Who prays for her…no one? What am I doing in reality? Possibly causing another Christian to stumble, perhaps they struggle with gossip too. I need be very concerned with the hearer of the conversation (1 Cor. 10:24).
What I learned: First of all, ladies who love the Lord are called to be different (I will say this almost in every post). This means that the things we say have got to be different from the world. Before I say anything and the words are on the tip of my tongue, I should ask myself, does what I’m about to say honor the Lord? If it doesn’t, I shouldn’t say it.
I thank the Lord that He sent the Holy Spirit to convict me, because boy does He ever! Almost always, as soon as I say something, I think, “oh, I shouldn’t have said that!” God’s Word says that “the beginning of strife is like releasing water; therefore stop a contention before a quarrel starts” (Prov. 17:14). That’s the same with our words. Once we start speaking them, they take control. These words that we use can either honor the Lord, or make Him look silly.
I admit, I’m so critical of others, I can be critical of myself too, but I most certainly forgive differently. Example, when I mess up, “oops!” On the contrary, when someone else messes up, “What were they thinking!?!” Of course, when someone messes up I need to talk about it, with someone else….”what was she thinking?”
What to do now? I can never take back what I say to others, but I can work to honor the Lord with my mistake. How?
- Ask the Lord to forgive me.
- Thank the Lord for the Holy Spirit’s conviction. And pray that I will become more aware of my convictions.
- Ask the other person involved directly or indirectly in the conversation for forgiveness. People are watching us, especially waiting for us to mess up. Others often realize that we’ve messed up before we even realize it. I need to humble myself and ask for that person’s forgiveness, which alone will be a great witness to them for Christ. It’s okay to show others that we mess up sometimes. As Christian ladies, we need to be able to tell our Sisters, I have failed the Lord today.
- Commit, through prayer and accountability to change the way I speak, weather it’s crudely, negatively, critical, boastful. Constantly talk to the Lord about it, He knows! I think often I underestimate God’s love for me. But God wants us to tell Him what’s going on, even though He already knows. Also, ask close friends to keep me accountable when they hear me saying things that don’t honor the Lord.
- Change things around.
Other: “Jane is cheating on her husband, did you know that?”
Me: “We must pray for Jane and her husband.”
Take control of your conversations!
Ladies, let’s be different from the World and stop gossip in its tracks! Whoever said being a lady meant sitting around and gossiping is wrong, being a lady should be about confiding with dear friends through prayer and encouragement.