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I have been hearing sacred echoes dealing with the power of our words a lot lately. One of this morning’s devotions was on the subject of gossip. The Spirit has been speaking to me about this very subject lately.
Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, murder does not lie in the act alone, murder is also carried out in our hearts when we hold a grudge or allow hatred to take root in our hearts or call our brother “fool”.
Even so, gossip does not always take the form of slandering another, it could be simply being careless with our judgments and our words in how we talk about others, possibly even those we love dearly – our children, our family members, our best friends, our neighbors, fellow believers, the homeless person standing on the corner. What is truly in our hearts and intentions when we speak those words?
We are made in the image of God – each and every human being who has or will ever live. Do we reflect His image in how we treat others? Do we see His image in others? Do we even try? Or, do we quickly move into judgment and condemnation over the things that are different about them, things we don’t understand, things that seem off, even things that are offensive to us? Do we even care about their story, their hearts, what brought them to this moment of catching our attention and stirring our ire (perhaps just by breathing and being alive)?
We are often so quickly ready to line them up, size them up, and cast them out without any genuine thoughtfulness or care. The Spirit wants to use our observation skills to capture our attention and to reveal to us how to intercede for others, to bring them before the throne of grace and then listen to the directions of the Lord for how to care for each individual just as He cares for them.
He wants to make us witnesses to the amazing ways in which His love wins – and we must see how His love wins in us first!
So, talk away – but start your conversations before the Father first – and then see where your words take you!