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Monday, January 25, 2010

Is it True? Is it Kind? Is it Necessary?

"When I want to speak let me think first
-Is it true?
-Is it kind?
-Is it necessary?


If not, let it be left unsaid."

(Attributed to Babcock)

When my daughter was in grade school she came home one day and started to tell me about a little girl that was having trouble at school. Before she finished I talked to her about gossip and she responded, "But mamma, it isn't gossip...it is true!".
Truth was not the only criteria found in Babcock's wise words. You see, as my daughter and I discussed gossip further we came to the reality that gossip is not just rumor or falsehoods about someone else. ANYTHING that is not YOURS to share is gossip when you hear it or spread it. If you have something that is not yours without permission and you can't give it back...it is stolen! How can stealing from someone be kind, or necessary?





Speaking the truth in love is God's instruction to us. I have never listened to or shared gossip with the spirit of love. Babcock was not the only one with advice in this area of the mouth:

Proverbs 11:13
A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.

Proverbs 16:28
A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends

1 Timothy 5:13
Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to.

Proverbs 26:20
Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down.

Romans 1:29
They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips,


OUCH! gossips are right up there with murderers and wickedness!

Sticks and stones will break my bones and words can often murder me/my spirit. Whether you are the gossip or the gossiped about...pain is part of the equation. You are hurting your character and hurting the person you are gossiping about.

So next time you have the urge to share or listen to ANYTHING THAT IS NOT YOURS TO SHARE...
Is it True? Is it Kind? Is it Necessary?

Let's keep working on it.

Just Thinkin',

Kathy

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