After spending about an hour of my time, scrolling through the latest news, and feeling the need to voice my opinion on the lives of people I have never met, I have resorted to the conclusion that I speak too much about things that don’t matter. There are increments of times where I have found myself completely consumed by someone else’s life, some may call it curiosity but it is more accurately aligned with a need to highlight the worst in others while serving my inner most sin the worship of self.
Examine Your heart
In our mini gossip circles, we tend to use the downfall of others, in a very detrimental way, we laugh about the worst in others while ignoring the most important factor the examination of our hearts as we speak. There is a clear correlation between the condition of your heart and the contents of what you say. Matthew 12:34 clearly states that out of the heart the mouth speaks. In retrospective your ability to gossip only reflects the condition of your heart. It speaks more deeply about you as a person than it does about the person in whom you’ve chosen to victimize within the conversations.
I know it is a hard truth to accept, I’ve struggled greatly in truly accepting that gossiping is not only a way to bond with friends, a social norm but it is a sin one that is hard to distinguish because we are simply social beings that have been designed for interactions. However it is imperative to recognize that some interactions destroy rather than build up, through division.
We live within an opinionated driven society, whereby anyone can voice any objections based on what each deems to be important. Wether it is the latest news on scandal, injustices or pure ignorance that is showcased on various mediums, we find ourselves completely driven by rage and our fighting mechanism is exercised on our digital phones. It is hard escaping the urge to pick up the phone and spend hours talking about someone in a very negative way only because we have gained a slight glimpse into their lives.
Social media gives us the perfect vehicle to exercise our version of free speech, yet it fails tremendously in revealing the conditions of our heart as we use the platform to share our opinions.
Hypocrisy of our Speech
James 3:9 is challenging my understanding of gossip, there are moments where I simply dismiss any convictions of my speech only because I feel the need to vindicate myself when I am confronted with any form of injustice. It’s hard watching what you say in the face of great injustice or anger. However the book of James highlights our hypocrisy by asking a very profound question which contrasts the contradictory uses of our speech. We use our speech to bless and worship God, yet even in the same breath we can resort to cursing people who are made in his image.
Curse men made in his image
I am trying to cultivate a habit whereby anytime, I feel the urge to curse someone wether in subtle or obvious ways to simply remind myself that I am cursing someone who is made in the image of God.
If we looked to people as the evidence of being made in the similitude of God it would radically change the ways in which we speak about people wether digitally or in person.
My prayer for you and I during this season is to allow God to transform our speech, to show us the different ways in which we diminish his transformative power within our lives when we opt for the lesser purpose of our speech. To remind us of Ephesians 4:29, in moments where our ability to exercise free speech clashes with the greater purpose of speech which is to build up rather than tearing down.
Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. Ephesians 4:29