A member of Calvary invited me to speak at his civic club lunch meeting today. He asked me to base my talk on messages I preached at Calvary from Titus 2:1-3. One of the points is from the exhortation to refrain from slander – Avoid Malicious Conversations. This instruction in verse 3 is directed to women, but applies to all. Our sinful tendency is to feel good when we say something critical and demeaning about another person, hinting at scandal, repeating damaging information, raising suspicions, passing on rumors, etc. The text says, “not slanderers.” It is the natural thing to do, but we shouldn’t. If you find yourself about to, STOP. While your mouth is open, ask yourself:
- Does what I’m about to say build up or tear down the person I’m talking about?
- Would I say it if he/she were present?
- Am I saying it because I like the attention or because I love the person?
- Should I be talking to the person instead of about him or her?
It takes self-discipline to refrain from sharing that juicy gossip. It takes courage to redirect the conversation your coffee group is having, or to walk away from a boss-bashing session. It’s all part of Healthy Living.