And gossip sessions are mind-wasters.
And both suck the life out of everybody.
Words, stories, lies, even truths - when we get a hold of these things....we feel the need to share them.
But oh, this sharing....it's really a spewing. A spewing of poison - and it spares no one. It doesn't spare the spewer. It doesn't spare the listener. And it certainly doesn't spare the one who the spewing is about.
The tongue can be trouble, can't it?
Yes. The tongue can turn a woman, a situation, a heart, a life - into a heap of rubble.
This morning...my oldest blond asked me to read some pages from a library book on tornadoes. We read about the destructive power of these twisters....how they can leave a nasty and gnarly mess wherever they go....how long after they have spiraled on the earth - the victims are made to pick up the pieces for months, for years....how these twisters take lives, even.
And our tongues....they do the same.
Words about another spoken out of anger, out of revenge, out of habit, out of fun - they ruin.
We must remember this. We must remember that these words of ours that spin right out of our mouths - they hold power, and they run deep, and they can whip right around to injure us all.
A quick whisper in the ear - echos. A whirlwind of words - wounds.
And while it tears at me to type this even....while it takes Grace alone to punch these words out: Even if the information you're daring to spread is true....even if the parties involved deserve it...even if they have done some spewing on you - oh, withhold....be wise....and remain hushed.
There is blessing in it.
Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it. - Psalm 34:13-14Even if you are like me - and you are capable of making war with your words - even if you are like me and you house a potentially tornadic tongue......join me in believing that we don't have to open wide and fill ears with filth (or vise versa)....that we don't have to follow the ways of the world and dish on rotten rumors that make their way through the grapevine.
Because are we really any better than they? Are we really any higher than the ones we gossip against? Does any healing occur because of the negative words we weave?
So let's clamp our lips tight and bow our knees low instead, friends. This way, there won't be any rubble or wounds to work through after the storm passes. For them...or us.
Oh Lord, remind me that there is shelter and safety in a shut mouth.