Our voices can be tools for great good. For example, we can talk to our heavenly Father on behalf of ourselves and others; we can speak the truth of Jesus Christ and sing praises to Him; we can train, motivate, encourage, and warn; and we can express loving devotion to one another.
However, our voices also have the power to injure. It often starts out with something small—a comment regarding a church policy or a brief conversation about an acquaintance can snowball, causing unforeseen damage. At times, we may express our opinion in a critical way (“Did you see how he . . . ?”) or out of curiosity, ask a question that elicits the negative (“Do you know why she . . . ?”). Our questions and comments may sow seeds of doubt and distrust that can hurt someone else’s reputation. Another word for this is “gossip.”
God has strong things to say about gossips—they separate close friends, betray confidences, and stir up dissension. And notice how God views a gossip’s traveling companions: Romans 1:29-30 describes them with terms like unrighteousness, wickedness, and greed, as well as slanderers and haters of God. The Lord takes our words seriously.
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth about your words, and let it transform any heart attitudes that might be prompting gossip. “For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart” (Matt. 12:34). Be one who protects the reputation of others, whether family, coworkers, believers, or unbelievers. Be a blessing with your words.