Kind words, en­cour­age­ment should be what comes out of your mouth

The Prince George Citizen - - Religion - PASTOR KIMI OR­TON, GATE­WAY CHURCH

Gos­sip grabs our at­ten­tion. We as humanity, have a pow­er­ful drive to know about other peo­ple’s per­sonal lives. The celebrity gos­sip in­dus­try is filled with mag­a­zines, tele­vi­sion pro­grams and so­cial me­dia that adds up to more than a $3 billion in­dus­try. We are cu­ri­ous to know what peo­ple are up to.

I be­lieve for many of us as Chris­tians, we tol­er­ate gos­sip be­cause we’ve all been guilty of it. It’s not so easy to face up to sin which you

have done and have en­cour­aged oth­ers to do by lis­ten­ing to their gos­sip. So we tend to shrug it off. Or we spir­i­tu­al­ize it by say­ing some­thing like this to oth­ers, “I felt God was telling me to share this per­sonal, con­fi­den­tial in­for­ma­tion with you about ‘Pastor so and so’s’ mar­riage be­cause God re­ally wants us to pray for them.”

We try to share con­fi­den­tial, pos­si­bly dam­ag­ing in­for­ma­tion by sound­ing re­li­gious, but re­ally we are be­ing hyp­o­crit­i­cal.

We need to own up to gos­sip as a se­ri­ous sin that can de­stroy peo­ple and hurt re­la­tion­ships. If we want healthy re­la­tion­ships, and gos­sip I’m telling you is not healthy… we need to ad­mit the trap it is and try to erad­i­cate it from our be­hav­iours.

We gos­sip for many rea­sons in­clud­ing; fear, the need to be in­cluded and be­long, in­se­cu­ri­ties and just plain old mean­ness.

I be­lieve we could avoid behaving in such a de­struc­tive man­ner if we would em­brace God’s word that says, “Watch the way you talk. Let noth­ing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.” Eph­e­sians 4:29

Can you imag­ine what humanity would look like if we only said things that were help­ful, en­cour­ag­ing, in­spir­ing and up­lift­ing to oth­ers and treated our words as a gift?

The fo­cus would be off our in­se­cu­ri­ties and cut­ting oth­ers down to make our­selves feel bet­ter as we fo­cused on lifting oth­ers up. It’s a world-chang­ing and life-giv­ing con­cept, to use our words to build oth­ers up. I be­lieve that as I turn to God to define who I am and who I’m cre­ated to be in Christ, that I’ll be re­leased of the hand­cuffs of gos­sip in my life. As I pur­sue knowing Je­sus in a deeper way in my life, I’m re­minded daily that I’m cre­ated in God’s im­age to bring light, hope and love to the world, not gos­sip. I’m pray­ing you will exchange hurt­ful, foul lan­guage to­day for some good old fashion, home grown Je­sus happy talk.

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