Keep Yourself from Calamity, Part 2
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.
He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.
A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret
These exhortations are black and white. There is no wiggle room, is there?
A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a person who talks too much. Years ago I recognized myself as the one who talks too much. I needed to practice listening rather than preparing my own statements while the other person poured out their hearts. Maybe I didn’t need to respond at all, just listen and pray.
Calamity follows gossip and gossip separates close friends. Remember these words when your broken friend shares intimate details about her life or her family. Protect her privacy. Her life is her story to share. People visiting our home right after our son’s death saw us in our most intimate grieving moments. Later, as I reflected on the pain of our grief in those moments, I hoped that those friends, who were with us, protected us by keeping private what they saw.
A friend asked me to pray for her teenager. She gave me no details, saying, “This is her story so when she is ready, she will share it. For now, just pray for the Lord to protect her.” That’s a good filter, isn’t it? Is it your story to share? Or does the story belong to the one living it? That’s a good filter, isn’t it? Is it your story to share? Or does the story belong to the one living it?
LIFE GIVING ENCOURAGEMENT
In your personal time with the Lord today, ask Him to show you places where you have violated your friend’s confidentiality or spoken words that created unnecessary conflict. Repent and determine to use words that are life-giving rather than life-taking. Commit to no gossip. Ask the Lord to remind you of His presence and grace every time you are tempted to speak words that could crush someone’s spirit (Ephesians 4:12).
Make a note in your journal that describes your resolve. Write out one of Today’s Treasure Bible verses. Reflect on it and ask God to use this verse to guide your words.
STORE UP MORE TREASURES
At some point in our lives, we or someone we know will go through great suffering. I encourage you to go the MARKINC website and listen to audio resource with Bethany Hamilton so that you can store up treasures of encouragement for the next rainy day in your life or someone else's. Here is a summary and teaser of this resource:
Bethany Hamilton, the Soul Surfer, has become a source of inspiration to millions through her story of determination, faith and hope. At the age of thirteen, Bethany lost her left arm to a 14-foot tiger shark, which seemed to end her career as a rising surf start. One month after the attack, Bethany returned to the water and within 2 years had won her first National title. Her greatest joy is being a wife and mother, and she continues to touch and inspire lives globally as a professional surfer and motivational speaker. In this interview, Bethany speaks directly to young girls about facing your fears, overcoming challenges and focusing on faith.