How it Begins…

Today’s Scripture is Proverbs 26:20-21,

Without wood a fire goes out

Without gossip a quarrel dies down

As charcoal to embers and wood to fire

So is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife

Today’s blog post is by Hazel Campbell,

Who said she did that?  Not sure!

And so my friend that’s how it began. No one knew the source, but everyone heard the story and willingly passed it on. The investigation proved it wrong. Gossip, slander, backbiting, whispers and unfounded assumptions are the pitfalls against which the verses above are set to warn us. Whether in the church, or among our families, or in society, the effects of these words are the same DISCORD. The common saying ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never’ is just false. Gossips (words) have brought down empires, kings, rulers and even create contentious environments in churches.

A recent report revealed that 60% of all adult conversations is about someone not present!

The first known usage of the word ‘gossip’ is said to be before 1627 (Webster) and that it has gone in meaning from ‘godparent,’ ‘close friend’ to present day meaning ‘anyone, friend or not ,who shares the secret of others’  Why do we engage in such a destructive act? To gain friendships; add importance to ourselves; jealousy; for others to see us more pure or holy?

Or, is it that we are expressing a heart condition?

I invite you to join me, just for a moment, and walk in the shoes of someone who is being gossiped about. There is pain – dreadful pain. He or she feels hated, is discouraged, feels friendless, lonely, helpless.  He or she is swabbing wounds that are unseen to the eye. Is this a place for our neighbor to reside peacefully?

Tempted ever to gossip! Make the choice instead to recall Proverbs Ch. 17:9, “He that covers a transgression seeks love, but he that repeats a matter separates very friends.”

 

 

Guard Your Heart and Mouth

Today’s Scripture is Proverbs 4:23-24

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.” 

Today’s blog post is by Pastor Vance…

At first glance, these two verses appear to be unrelated.  The first is about guarding the heart.  The second is about what comes out of your mouth.  Heart?  Mouth?  What’s the connection?

The key words are, “for everything you do flows from it.”  In essence, if you don’t guard your heart, nasty things may flow from your mouth.  Or, the nasty things that come out of your mouth come from an un-guarded heart.

Jesus echoes this in Matthew 15:16-19,

Jesus asked them. “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.  For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.

Let me make this very plain.  When we eat something, it enters the mouth, then it passes through the body, and later exits elsewhere in a less desirable, stinky, revolting form.  But, according to Jesus, what comes out of the mouth can be equally revolting – lies, gossip, grumbling, insults, slander, etc.

Where do such nasty words originate?  According to Jesus and Proverbs 4:23-24, the words we speak originate in our hearts.

Elsewhere, the book of James says that the tongue is the most difficult of all human organs to maintain control of.

Think of it this way.  If it is in your heart, it will come out in words.  Thus, the words you speak are an accurate indicator of the condition of your heart.

If your heart is hurt, your words will be hurtful.  If your heart is full of envy and jealousy, your words will be resentful.  If your heart is full of judgement, your words will be condemning.  If your heart is prideful, your words will belittle.  If your heart is full of lust, your words will be perverse.

Here’s a suggestion – pay close attention to what you say today.  How frequently do you use obscenities?  How often do you gossip? How often are you critical?  How much do you grumble?  How many of your words are unkind?  How often are your demeaning to others?  How many opportunities do you miss to say something kind, encouraging, or affirming?

Where does that crap come from?  Your heart.  Why is it there?  Maybe it’s time to put a lot more of Jesus in your heart, and a lot less of the other stuff.  You’ll be amazed by the difference.