MY STUPID MOUTH
Week 3: Shut Your Trap – Gossip
Words don’t just make noise. They communicate meaning, define relationships and impact your future. Our words can give life or take life; they can build up or tear down. What you say says something about you. In Week 4 of My Stupid Mouth, we learned that “When gossip rises, trust falls.” In an age when you can destroy someone’s entire reputation in less than 140 characters, the ability to use our words wisely has never been more important. Refusing to gossip requires us to think more, talk less and put the other person first.
- What are some things people just love to Gossip about?
- Read Psalms 57:4 and Proverbs 25:18. Gossip cuts like nothing else. When our words turn to gossip, we are participating in an act of verbal assault. What are some of the things in our lives that could be damaged by gossip?
- Read Proverbs 25:9-10. Often, we gossip and destroy someone else’s reputation to protect our own. But Proverbs 25:9-10 warns us that the opposite is true: gossip discredits us in the eyes of others. What are some ways gossip can destroy the reputation of the gossiper?
- Read James 3:5-6. James doesn’t mince words on words! Proverbs talked about Gossip like sharp arrows and swords, but James compares words to a fire… just a little spark can cause massive damage. How does this picture help us understand the power of our words? Are there any “fires” you need to put out?
- Sometimes, we aren’t the ones who gossip, but we get gossiped about. You may or may not be able to reconcile the relationship at this point, but it may be hurting other relationships in your life. Many times, we respond by looking for others to affirm us in unhealthy ways, or else we blow it off and convince ourselves that we don’t actually need people in our lives. Which way do you usually deal with hurtful moments? How do you think you should respond?
- Joseph, after being sold into slavery by his brothers, became Pharaoh’s right-hand man. His brothers eventually came to him afraid he would take their life for what they did to him as a kid. Read Genesis 50:18-21 to see Joseph’s response. How can we be like Joseph when others harm us with their words? (Review: Joseph (1) acknowledged that God was in control, (2) understood that God uses people’s bad decisions to do incredible things and (3) chose to speak encouraging words)
We’ve covered some hurtful ways to use our words in this series, gossip being one of the most dangerous and hard to control. Instead of talking to someone, we talk about them; usually when we are angry, disappointed, or at odds. It is in these moments, though, where we most need to talk to that person directly. Is there someone in your life that you need to have a healthy and open conversation with? Schedule some time this week to work things out.
CHANGING YOUR MIND
Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers . . . Ephesians 4:29