With our words we can tear down or build up. One little sentence can bring up the ugliness of our hearts, or one sentence can spread kindness and love. Choosing kindness with the words I use has been something I have been intentionally working on over the past year.
As a woman, I know how easy it is to get caught in the web of gossip and hurtful talk. Without intending to, we can quickly slip into a lifestyle focused on negativity which is ultimately rooted in comparison.
Looking at my own life, I know there was a season where I was focused on talking about everyone else with friends than about my own issues. In hindsight, I see how our friendships lacked depth because we were only focused on others (in a negative way), rather than ourselves.
The more I dug into this topic, I realized a few ways I would justify gossip.
- “I am just venting” to my friendI will justify saying something because I am “just venting”
- Telling this to my best friend is okay- it’s not gossip.
- Sometimes I may not speak the words, but let them play over in my mind like a never ending song.
Can you relate to any of those justifications? Even reading them, I cringe because I know I have been guilty of all of these.
Thankfully, there is freedom from the snares of gossip.
We can decide to choose kindness in our words. As I looked at the justifications, I was able to uproot the tug gossip had on me.
I do not want to be a person who focuses on the negative in others. What I want, is to be someone who shares truth, hope, and love.
Ephesians 4:29 (ESV)
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Proverbs 16:24 (ESV)
Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
Proverbs 13:3 (ESV)
Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
These are verses that I like to keep at the forefront of my mind, because even after we decide to make a change, we can still get caught in the trap again.
As I focused on choosing kindness in my words, I realized a few things:
- It gets easier over time. The more I practiced choosing kindness, the easier it was to stop gossip in its tracks.
- You will have more joy. Comparison truly does steal our joy. When we compare, we fill drained and annoyed. However, choosing kindness only created more of an abundance of joy.
- Your true friendships will deepen. As you seek to choose kindness, you will find your friendships deepen. Some friendships may fall off, because suddenly you have nothing to talk about.
As women, we can choose to compare or champion one another. As moms, we can choose to teach our little ones the power of words through our actions and language.
Now every time, I go and gather with others, I ask myself what words will I choose? Will they be words that lift up or tear down?
What about you? Do you struggle with choosing kindness with your words? What helpful tips do you have to share on this topic?
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