“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29
How many times have I struggled with this problem?…I’m not telling…How about you?
In the Corps:
There is nothing that hinders corps growth more than loose lips and mindless gossip. Often it is also the hardest to remove as well. Why is gossip, slander and unkind talk such a difficulty? Why can we not control our tongues?
A number of years ago, we had a salty individual who came to our corps. This person would constantly say unkind things to us as well as behind our backs…and it got worse. New people began to come to our corps. Fresh faces, eager to learn more about Christ…then it happened. This individual looked back at the new couple and said, “who the hell is that“? Let me just tell you that there are no words that one can find to describe our shock and horror. We confronted this person. Asked them to apologize. This person refused and they couldn’t believe we had come to them asking for something that seemed outrageous in their opinion. Finally I called that person, they answered, I talked and told them it had to stop (there had been many more incidents), I was told in no uncertain terms where I could take my words and where to put them. This person has since left the corps altogether but not before driving away new members and potential members.
Brothers and sisters in Christ,
fellow Soldiers of our Army, the tongue is a mighty and dangerous weapon! We MUST be careful and aware of how sharply words can cut. Gossip, slander and biting attitudes can dissolve a corps fellowship faster than nearly anything else!
1) Don’t ignore it in your corps.
If we ignore this virus of words, it will not go away.
It will still remain and it will only increase because ignoring it actually gives it more power. Address it appropriately. Privately, if possible. Do so with other Local Officers and elders who are trustworthy and upright. (This is scriptural!)
2) Stinkin’ Thinkin’ or Edifying Thoughts?
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
Do not even entertain stinkin’ thinkin’! Don’t allow it to be consumed into your life! Cut off the mindless gossip of others, or just walk away. Don’t let it gain even a small foothold in your thoughts and lifestyle. Whatever you consume in your thoughts becomes who you are!
If we are a body of Christ then we have to put to death these thoughts along with all of the other idolatrous, sinful things. (Colossians 3:5)
If you struggle with negative, unhealthy thoughts and speech, then talk to a trusted brother and sister in Christ! Talk to someone who will hold you to your promises and convictions, not someone who will placate you. Seek out someone who you can be challenged by and who will commit to holding you to your word.
4) Baby Steps…but don’t quit!
Sorry, Bill Murry’s performance in ‘What About Bob‘ just came to mind. “Baby steps, baby steps” We will not conquer this blight of negativity from our thoughts and tongues immediately. Certainly the Holy Spirit can alleviate this immediately, but more than likely we will have to work very hard at conquering this issue. We will have to take baby steps or small victories one at a time. Don’t get frustrated if you stumble now and then, but don’t use that as an excuse either! Remember we are called to this higher calling and if we are to be truly set apart then we have to submit everything to the will of Christ including our thought process and our tongues.
Dear Salvation Soldier,
Can we submit this sword (our tongues) completely for the cause of Christ?
We will face resistance.
We will face trials.
It will NOT be easy.
We will be tempted to share juicy gossip or respond with biting words.
But seriously, we need to just stop and SHHHHHHHHHH, when all we can think about saying will injure, cause harm and damage this vital fellowship of Christ.
Don’t overlook this dangerous foe!
Don’t underestimate it’s power on your corps either!
Something more for our Army to ponder today!
To God Be The Glory!