This I Believe:
Our words, when we speak, should be kind and accountable. We should bridle our tongues from gossiping, backbiting, lying, profaning and finding fault with others.
In the sixties, I lived in a small town where everyone knew each other. I belonged to a woman’s club where we met monthly. The group had a weakness for gossiping. Each
month, the club members re-hashed the town’s gossip about a certain married woman having an affair with a single, handsome bachelor in our town. The gossiping bothered me because it was the main talk in our group month after month never ending. Also, this woman was someone whom I considered to be my friend because I worked very closely with her in a church calling. I knew her growing up background had lacked in moral teachings. She had always been promiscuous even as a young girl and I felt sorry for her, thinking maybe she didn’t know any better.
I always was silent when the gossiping occurred, but one day I spoke briefly stating that we should not gossip about her any more. I said she was one of us in our small, closely knitted community and we needed to be kind and not judgmental towards her. Later, this woman who had been the victim of the gossiping, came to me and thanked me for speaking up for her in the club group. One of our club members who lived next door to her told her what I had said at the club meeting.
Her husband did divorce her and she left town. I never knew what happened to her, but it was a valuable lesson to me to not gossip.
I believe that the goodness and soul of a person are revealed in their words. I believe we need to speak kind words from our hearts. I believe we need to keep secrets to protect others feelings. I believe we need to not say idle words without thinking of the consequences. Often we hurt the ones we love the most with unkind words, justifying that they are constructive and knowing our loved ones will allow for our bad behavior and forgive us. I believe we need to build rather than jeopardize our relationships with our loved ones. I believe when angry, we should condition ourselves to not speak immediately, but rather to wait until we are calm and rational. I’ve never liked the remark, “Just kidding” after a hurtful remark has been said, because most of us don’t believe the “Just kidding” part. I believe that we should never say mean, vicious remarks that assassinates one’s character. I believe there is no justification for profanity at any time.
The Epistle of James in the New Testament, Chapter one, Verse 26th states, “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.”
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.