James 3:1-12 1 My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. 2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. 3 Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. 4 Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. 5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. 7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: 8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. 11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? 12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. 

howtogossip-800Our tongue is little in comparison to the rest of our body but it sure can be a sharp little tool if it is not trained! (James 3:10) One minute it can praise God and the next minute it can gossip about another!

So how can we train our tongue? (Psalm 39:1) Firstly, we must change the condition of the heart, amen? (Luke 6:45) Starting the day with the words from Psalm 19:14 is an excellent beginning 🙂 When my heart is right, the words coming from my lips will be also.

As I read today’s text, the Lord impressed upon my heart Colossians 4:6 – my speech should be seasoned with salt. Just what is the purpose of salt in our lives? Why would the Lord use this analogy? Meditating on the little word salt and comparing it to our everyday life opened this part of scripture so much more. I don’t know about you, but I really get more out my reading when analogies are used. The Lord sure knows His creation 🙂 He knows we learn better with real life applications. So what does salt actually do for us?

(1) It adds flavor to food – Again, Colossians 4:6 says my speech should be “seasoned” with salt. We all know what food tastes like when too much salt is added. It’s just not edible! But the right amount of salt makes food taste awesome! So does my speech add flavor to a conversation?   Do I contribute something from God’s Word when someone opens their heart to me? When someone comes to me discouraged, do I have the right words to encourage them? (Psalm 19:14) We should strive to share verses with everyone we talk to, saved or unsaved, and add flavor to our conversations. Remember, God promises that His Word will not go out void. On the flip side, salt is also used to cause someone to vomit when poison has been swallowed. Do your words cause a Christian to fall? You literally have caused them to spiritually vomit … think about it!

(2) To preserve food – Do your words preserve? There are lost souls everywhere and their souls need to be preserved, if you will. They need to hear the Gospel and they need to hear it with “flavor.” (John 6:68) We have the words of life and they are lost! Do you see a Christian friend heading toward distruction? That friend needs to be preserved – that friend needs you to love her and show her through the scriptures what she is doing wrong. I am close to two dear ladies and both are not hesitant in preserving me 🙂 They would rather see me living for the Lord than to stray and be chastised. That is a characteristic of a good friend!

(3) To heal open sores – We have all gargled with salt water at one time or another. It helps to heal mouth sores. Do your words bring comfort and healing?  (Proverbs 12:18) To the lost, your words should be the Gospel.  (John 6:68) To the saved, your words should be full of mercy rather than judgment. (Luke 6:36) We say that we love the sinner yet hate the sin – do we really ? We need to remember that we all are sinners. (Romans 7:24) Not one day goes by that we are not tempted and sin because of it. So who are we to consider ourselves better than the one who has fallen? We are told to love one another – only then will our words bring healing to those who are hurting!

Our goal should be to draw others to the scriptures. (Acts 8:31) Just as salt causes us to thirst and to heal, so should our speech be to others. God’s words will not return to us void – He promises us this! (Isaiah 55:11) Every time I look at a salt shaker, you can be sure I look at it differently! 🙂

Photobucket

I have known a few men and women (more women then men) in my life who are constantly in other people’s business. They have too much time on their hands and, therefore, find themselves in search of anything of “interest” outside their home. It’s rare that the town or church gossip is a man – sadly, they are mostly women 🙁

The word has a few verses that deal with busybodies – some are quite convicting! Sadly, the busybody who reads this will not see herself. The busybody thinks they are doing justice by exposing truth. However, their tales are usually a little fact and a whole lot of lies.

Proverbs tells us that the busybody is a fool. She loves to meddle in another’s affairs; passing judgment.

~Proverbs 20:3 It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling.

As I said earlier, the busybody has too much time on her hands and not enough work. It’s ironic that the word busybody is the word used to define a meddler, isn’t it? The meddler is not a “busy body” – in fact, she’s not busy working at all! Unless one considers busy in other people’s private affairs “work.”

~II Thessalonians 3:11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.

~I Timothy 5:13 And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.

She is a “master meddler” and loves to spread tales and lies. It’s as if she thrives on this! She’s not happy unless she knows everything that’s going on around her.

~I Timothy 5:13 And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.

But the word says that these busybodies will bring shame and harm to herself and her family. Eventually, her meddling will catch up to her and she will reap what she has sown. Churches should deal swiftly with busybodies or they will reap a whirlwind for sure.

~II Kings 14:10 Thou hast indeed smitten Edom, and thine heart hath lifted thee up: glory of this, and tarry at home: for why shouldest thou meddle to thy hurt, that thou shouldest fall, even thou, and Judah with thee?

~Proverbs 26:17 He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.

I found it interesting that the Apostle Peter categorized a busybody along with murderers, thieves and evil doers! It’s a serious matter and should not be looked upon lightly.

~I Peter 4:15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.

Christians should not be busybodies. What are we teaching our children? They become what they witness on a daily basis. 🙁 Paul gives us a cure for this horrible sin:

~I Timothy 5:14 I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.

With today’s technology, however, a woman doesn’t have to leave home to go spread tales. She can pick up the phone, she can tweet it or send an email. One never sins alone. When a woman gossips to another, she has given the adversary a reason to speak reproachfully. How very sad. A Christian woman ought not to be a busybody. Instead, her words should be few and well thought out.

~Proverbs 25:11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.

Psalm 62

To the chief Musician, to Jeduthun, A Psalm of David. 1 Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation. 2 He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved. 3 How long will ye imagine mischief against a man? ye shall be slain all of you: as a bowing wall shall ye be, and as a tottering fence. 4 They only consult to cast him down from his excellency: they delight in lies: they bless with their mouth, but they curse inwardly. Selah. 5 My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. 6 He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved. 7 In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. 8 Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah. 9 Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity. 10 Trust not in oppression, and become not vain in robbery: if riches increase, set not your heart upon them. 11 God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God. 12 Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work.

Today’s Psalm really spoke to my heart. I’ve underlined the verses that especially moved me. The history behind this Psalm repeats itself over and over in people’s lives. Absalom (David’s own son) was speaking lies (gossip) about his father. How hurt David must have been to hear snippets of gossip coming from his own son. David wrote today’s Psalm as this gossip was making its way around his circle of friends, enemies, and his people.

How many times have you been spoken ill of by your own family members just because of your stand for Christ? Better yet, how many times have you been wrongfully spoken of by family members and their statements weren’t even true?

I’ve felt the pain of gossip in my own family as well as horrible accusations of wrong doing by church family which were not even true. How very sad to go through situations like this – the pain at times was overwhelming! What did I do with that pain? Sadly, I did not do as David did.

Ironically, David starts out his Psalm by acknowledging God and the fact that God is his rock, salvation and defense. Notice after that, David said that he “shall not be greatly moved.”  Then he goes to start his list of concerns/complaints. After he does his complaining (verses 3-4), we find the word Selah, which is a pause or a rest. It’s as if David caught himself complaining about his lot in life, stopped to think about his complaining, and then starts to meditate on his God.

The effects of meditation produce praise and worship in the believer’s heart! I loved the fact that after David praised his God, he went from saying that he shall not be greatly moved to “I shall not be moved.” Praising God, worshipping God, and meditating on His goodness puts sets us straight in our thinking. Our stinking thinking becomes assured thinking – resting on God’s abilities and not our own!

When I complain about the circumstances in my life, I’m not edifying myself nor am I edifying the people who are listening. I’m not helping those listening one bit – in fact, I’m affecting their thinking, aren’t I? My stinking thinking wreaks and permeates. You can’t hang around a skunk without eventually smelling like one.

~Ephesians 4:29-30 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

The Lord spoke to my heart today as I was complaining to Him about my circumstances in life at the moment. The Holy Spirit impressed upon me the verse above and that I was grieving Him. I was doubting God with my lack of faith. I was complaining to Him rather than trusting Him. It was time for me to praise, worship and honor Him with my lips and experience my own “Selah”: Stop, rest in Him, and wait.

~Psalms 37:7 Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him:

While I rest and wait on Him, He will provide the calm assurance that all is well. There can be a storm outside, but I calm seas on the inside!