Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Conversation With No One (But one I dearly wish I could have)

Excuse me, ma'am?

Can I stop you for a second? Please stop saying those things. I happen to know that family you are talking about. That one with several kids? Yeah, I'm actually pretty close to them. I'm not trying to argue with you, but I think maybe you don't know all the facts.

Is there any good reason for you to be telling me these things about that family? I know they have several children, but that doesn't make them any less spiritual than you or I. In fact, my Bible says that children are a reward from the Lord. (Psalm 127:3) Yeah, those children are the Lord's blessing on that family. There are some that wish they could experience that sort of blessing from the Lord!

Yes, I know that they aren't always the perfect parents, but like I said before, you and I do not know all the details of their home. Did you know that one of their sons has a learning disability? When he misbehaves, its not always a disobedience or sinful issue. His mother and father are trying to learn as much as they can about helping him, but it is hard for his other siblings to understand. Imagine what that would be like if it was your child?

I realize that this family might not do things the same way that you do. But does that make them wrong? Who says that you are right? I don't believe God gave you the "judge others" wand. In fact, He says, Judge not, that ye be not judged." (Matthew 7:1) Some day, record the things that you say throughout a day, and then play it all back, as if you are hearing someone else saying those things about you. How do you feel?

I'm not saying this because I'm some super-Christian. Quite the opposite. I've struggled with the words that come out my mouth. I've often likened myself to the apostle Peter, always saying things without thinking about them first. But the Lord has really worked on me, to the point where it pains me to hear you talk about others in this way. Be on guard: we are women, gossiping comes easy for us, and the Devil knows it and uses it. Thats why we must be extra-vigilant.

Proverbs says that the words of a talebearer are as wounds. (Proverbs 18:8) That verse is often quoted because of the damage it can do to the one being gossiped about, but did you ever think about the damage it does to me, the person you are gossiping to? Now, every time I see this family, I am going to remember the negative things you said about them, and wonder if it is true or not. I will resist getting too close to this family, because I don't know if I can trust them any more. So not only has this family been wounded, and myself, but also our relationship, all by your words, spoken in a hasty moment. Something tells me that isn't what you are going for.

Next time you want to say something negative about someone else, remember the words of Proverbs 7:16-19. A lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a false witness, and he that soweth discord are all in the list of things the Lord hates. Hate is a strong word, and if the Lord feels that strongly about it, then so do I.

***Note: the above scenario is not real, just an instance I created to illustrate my point. I am not trying to point fingers at anyone inparticular, because I know that if I do, I'll have 4 fingers pointed back at me. I just hope that each of you will consider the impact your words have on others. For further study and reflection, do a study of the verses about speech in the book of Proverbs.)

***UPDATE: I promise I had no idea the Duggars were expecting when I wrote this. Total coincidence. You can read about that announcement here. And they have super cute kids. Just sayin'.

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