James 3:7-10(New Living Translation)
7 People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, 8 but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. 9 Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. 10 And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!
One of the biggest problems among Christians I "hear" these days, is what we say to or about each other. Granted, the world hurls alot of insults and gossip back and forth, and many are professionals when it comes to "dissing" one another, but this shouldn't be the case for Christ followers. Unfortunately, their are many in the church that need their "tongue tied"!
Why has it become so easy for Christians to speak badly about another? There was a time when those that claimed the mantle of Jesus Christ were considered to be above that sort of thing. Anything bad and evil thing said to another would have subjected that person to severe punishment from other Christians around them.
In fact in Romans 1:29-32, the apostle Paul compares those who speak evil, slanderers and gossips, with murderers and worthy of a death sentence! Pretty strong words for those who engage in something that we hear each and everyday. Why do so many relish their time saying things about other people? Why are they so casual in allowing another to be destroyed by what is said?
Instead we need to be about lifting each other up as fellow believers of God. Jesus died for each and every one of us, both Christian and non-Christian, and we have no right to do such things to any other person. If God thinks so highly about those He has created, who are we to think any less? Who are we to say anything bad about another?
If you find yourself participating with those who do such things, it is time you confessed your sin and asked for God to help you. Maybe it is because you never really thought about it in this way, so starting today, why not start anew? Train yourself to always try to say something good about every other person, or if you can't, at least remain silent.
And when you hear others engaged in such things, be sure that you are the one to approach them in love and turn the conversation to something positive. You will find that you will bring blessing to all those around you.
Photo of "Oscar: Letting Go",8-14-2010. post from oscar.benninga.org