Making Every Word Count
Sometimes it's surprisingly easy to gossip about someone or say something unkind. Our wonderful new writers, Lucy and Rose, encourage us to use our words at school for the glory of Jesus instead of feed into gossip. This is so helpful! Love N x
"With our tongues we bless God our Father; with the same tongues we curse the very men and women he made in his image"
We have both been followers of Jesus for a while now, but that doesn’t mean it necessarily gets any easier. One area we find it challenging is at school, particularly gossiping. This is something that girls seem to do all the time, so it’s challenging not to participate and in doing so, be different from the others.
A passage we found really helpful is James 3:1-12. Verse 5 explains that our tongues are like fire, they are a small part of our body, but can do a lot of harm.
'So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!' (James 3:5)
Just like a forest fire caused by a small spark, leads to huge damage, so we see that gossiping, without us always realising, can cause a lot of hurt.
Verses 11 is also super helpful to show us how to use our speech. It says:
‘can both fresh water, and salt water flow from the same spring?’
This is saying that we can’t both be using our speech to glorify God and love others, but at the same time gossiping and using our tongues in a bad or hurtful way.
We need to make a decision, who we are going to live for?
The King, and the Creator of the Universe, or the temptations of the world?
In Ephesians 4 it talks about putting on the new self, and getting rid of the old self, of which includes gossiping. In verse 29 it says:
‘Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.’ (EPHESIANS 4:29)
So really, it is very clear about how we should speak to each other, there are no negotiations or excuses to make even when it’s really hard. We’ve all been in these situations!
A common example that happens to most people at school could be: a big group of girls all talking about another girl, everyone is saying unkind things about her. You know a bit of gossip about this girl, and they’re all looking at you asking what you know about her, what do you do?
The attention turns to you; do you reveal what you know, or do you honour God’s word and keep it to yourself?
It’s not easy to make that decision, it is so tempting to share what you know.
Yet, by keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, His Word, and living eternally in heaven, it is made so much easier.
Considering how short this life is, that one piece of gossip that might make you that bit more popular doesn’t matter. The other option may result in our friends thinking less of us, or even losing some friends. But we need to look at the bigger picture!
A great analogy that many of you may know: imagine our lives as Christians as a piece of rope. The little tiny end of the rope is this life, and the rest of the rope going like heaven. It would be silly to sacrifice the bit of the rope going on for ever and ever just for that tiny bit of rope at the end.
So at school we should think about heaven, not focusing on this short life on Earth now. If it helps, we could think of ourselves just as exiles passing through this and on our way to heaven – what an encouragement!
Lastly, not only does not gossiping and being kind please God, it also makes you a more trustworthy person. If you refuse to gossip your friends will notice, they will then trust you more. Even better, this is a great opportunity to share with them what you believe about Jesus. We hope this has helped you think about what you say to others!
Lucy & Rose
Lucy and Rose are both in Year 10 and about to embark on the GCSE journey. They both also have three younger brothers. They have a wonderful sense of adventure and both love anything sporty – particularly running and swimming!