Time and again we find in Proverbs that advice on how we listen and speak. Here is another. Proverbs 18:20 “From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled; with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied.”
Four priests met for a friendly gathering. During the conversation one priest said, “Our people come to us and pour out their hearts confessing certain sins and needs. Let’s do the same. Confession is good for the soul.”
In due time all agreed. One confessed he liked to go to movies and would sneak off when away from his church. The second confessed to smoking cigars, and the third one confessed to playing cards. When it came to the fourth one, he wouldn’t confess. The others pressed him saying, “Come now, we confessed ours. What is your secret or vice?” Finally he answered, “It is gossiping and I can hardly wait to get out of here.”
If you don't say it, they can't repeat it. Yiddish folklore offers a telling tale about gossip-makers. One such man had told so many malicious untruths about the local rabbi that, overcome by remorse, he begged the rabbi to forgive him. "And, Rabbi, tell me how I can make amends." The rabbi sighed, "Take two pillows, go to the public square and there cut the pillows open. Wave them in the air. Then come back."
The rumourmonger quickly went home, got two pillows and a knife, hastened to the square, cut the pillows open, waved them in the air and hastened back to the rabbi's chambers. "I did just what you said, Rabbi!" "Good." The rabbi smiled. "Now, to realise how much harm is done by gossip, go back to the square..." "And?" "And collect all your feathers."
Father God, Forgive when I let careless words slip from my mouth; both knowingly and unknowingly. Help me to choose my words wisely. I pray Colossians 4:6, “Your speech must always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.” (NASB) Thank You for this reminder. Holy Spirit, let my words be led by you. Give me grace toward those who have no regard for hurting mine or other people’s feelings. May they be convicted to treat others with more kindness. It is in the name of Jesus Christ that I pray these things. Amen.