“Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.” Proverbs 21:23
“Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut..” Proverbs 10:19 NLT
So I am not sure how to start this one… First of all let me say that I had not planned on my lenten blogging to be a series of confessions but I guess that is the material fresh in your mind when you spend days repenting before the Lord during a season such as this.
Anybody that has spent more than 20 minutes with me has discovered my penchant for conversation. So therein lies the temptation ground that I have recently noticed has become an area of sin that I did not struggle with some handful of years ago…GOSSIP.
Ok I am not going to confess and then start to make excuses and clean it up, as SIN is SIN is SIN. However, I have noticed that this one is not an area that I struggle with all around, but has been a clear problem in one specific environment in which I live. At the risk of isolating certain people, I will not divulge that environment, but there it is… I have succombed to the temptation to gossip.
So before we move on any further let’s be clear what God’s word says about this sin:
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29
“If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.” James 1:26
To further clarify, it is not even that I am a divulger of personal secrets, but I have been on way too many occasions party to conversations in which people are sharing gossip with me. I do nothing to dissuade and pretty much encourage with questions and such. When another party in the same party asks of me what I know on a topic, I simply share the “gossip” that I have heard. YUCK! This is so vile, just writing about it makes me feel so dirty. I really CAN’T believe that I have become a gossip. It is crazy because in one realm of my life there is no possibility for this as it is intentional weeded out of the culture of that environment and my role strictly calls for certain levels of confidentiality. No problems there, but in another area…It’s like WWIII on my tongue and my integrity ultimately!
Do you know those moments when you think…”Oh this could never happen to me?” As dramatic as this might sound, I truly thought this would not be a confession of mine I’d ever have to make. As much as I love to talk, I’ve never really been too concerned with other people’s personal issues. My issues have always been enough to keep me busy for years.
This is how the tempter works. He enters into arenas where you least expect a fight. Then…WHAM!!! Sucker punch!
Don’t we know by now that the Devil is a shrewd sucker puncher, who doesn’t care about even fights and fair play? He has been hitting me in this area for a couple of years now and I am only just now even becoming aware that I am taking a beating.
So what do I do? Even more if you find yourself in this arena too, what should you do?
How do we put up a fight and find the victory that Jesus won us in this battlefield?
1. See the temptation. (“Find it”)
2. Limit association, if possible, from that temptation (“Flee it”)
3. Pray that God changes your heart about your tongue (“Fix it”)
Our heart change toward our sinfulness is the only way that our ability to change sinful patterns happens. God’s work within us is where we find the power to change. It is HIS POWER.
“But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” James 3:8
Taming the tongue, the gossiping tongue, the lying tongue, the furious tongue, is something that ONLY GOD can do. The question is will we do what we can do and seek God’s power for what He can do?