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“A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.” (Proverbs 16:28 NIV)

Perverse people cause conflict.  Gossip is a tool they use.  Someone who gossips: One who runs from house to house, tattling and telling news; an idle tattler.  I think of Gladys Kravitz as a gossip.  She was the nosy neighbor of Darrin and Samantha Stevens on the 1960’s hit show Bewitched.  Her character kept a close eye on what was going on in the neighborhood.  She loved to talk about what she knew with others.  As soon as she received a juicy tidbit, she was on the phone sharing it with whoever would listen.  As a result, she was not the most popular person on the block.  Neither is a perverse person who creates conflict.

Perverse people cause conflict.

Sometimes, we’re the gossip.  The song, “Take Me to Church” by Hozier is one that saddens my heart.  The chorus contains these words:

“Take me to church

I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies

I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife.”

I’m saddened by the words because of their truth.  I’ve sat in prayer meetings where people shared personal and private requests.  They have opened their hearts to vulnerability.  Only for someone to share their request outside of the group.  Deep, deep hurt occurred.  I’ve witnessed this heart ache more than once.  The song isn’t necessarily referring to situations like this, but it is what I think of when I hear the song.

Why are we so quick to share someone else’s misery?  I’ve been guilty of gossip.  Just this past weekend, there was a conversation lull when we were with friends.  I thought of something I had learned juicy. Temptation tried to get me to speak.  Thank God for the Holy Spirit, I felt a check from it.  I knew I wasn’t to talk about the situation.  I didn’t.  But only because of God’s presence in my life.  Without Him, I may have not been quiet.

Words truly hurt others.  When we share things we shouldn’t, we’re perverse.  We’re a gossip.  We separate friendships and kill relationships.  But with God’s presence in our lives, we can learn to let our words honor Him:

“May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14 NIV)

When we put God first in our speech, we won’t gossip.  We will build people up with our words.  We’ll help them become who God created them to be.  We won’t tear apart, we’ll unify.  Perversity will not survive.  Only uplifting and encouraging words will come from our mouth.  But first we have to let God control our tongue.  With Him, all things are possible.

Question of the Day:

How are your words affecting your friendships?

Further Reading: 1 Kings 5:1-6:38 NIV, Acts 7:1-29 NIV, Psalm 127:1-5 NIV, Proverbs 16:28-30 NIV

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