You’ve heard the old adage, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” but have you been able to live it? I’ve tried, honestly I have, but it just doesn’t work for me. I’m absolutely certain that it doesn’t work for many of you either.
The woman that vents her anger and frustration about another woman. That man that comments about another man’s character being less than respectable. Those women that chatter together conjuring up stories of sinful activity just from a few pictures and posts on Facebook. That woman, when asked about another woman, reacts with a peculiar look or an eyebrow raised or even just an itsy-bitsy derogatory comment. The young person that excludes or uses unkind words. Might seem harmless. After all, it will never get back to the person and so what if it does.
It is not harmless and it always hurts the person that has been slandered – always. We are not to listen to gossip. We are to be haters of it but what happens when the gossip reaches us so quickly that we can’t stop it? Now, it has penetrated our senses and we are in danger. We might believe it or begin to question what we thought we knew or hopefully, we will begin the process turning our head to one side and pounding the information out. I truly wish it was that simple. I cannot help myself. I seem to have a rare ability to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I hear and see things that cause great distress. I assure you, “most” of the time I am not trying to hear and see these things and to heap more on, when I have been brave enough to confront the person, I have paid the price. I was met with anger and betrayal.
Women are especially vulnerable to behaving in this way. Jealousy of another woman or her children or even a pure admiration that she might receive from men can cause an insecure woman to behave very badly. Husbands, if you notice any signs that your wife is behaving this way, you must step up and lead her by holding her accountable. Even the behaviors that you deem harmless, may be hurting another human being. If she is involved in gossip sessions with other women, she could be party to destroying lives. If she is cruel or dismissive to another woman, she could be wounding a spirit. This is serious and she needs her husband to be courageous and to step up.
Spirits are crushed, marriages and families destroyed, friendships lost. These are precious human lives being injured and sometimes destroyed by a careless word or facial expression. I’m hot steamin’ mad. I don’t get to this place very often – thankfully. I’m begging you – please, search yourself. We could each examine ourselves and if we find guilt, go back and correct the situation. We might think before we act on this impulse again.
I don’t normally write when I’m angry. I generally enjoy being more positive but after experiencing this myself this year and with two separate situations, just this week, where lives are being destroyed because of careless words, I’ve had enough. Would each of you join me in committing to not being part of the problem?
Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29