When Hurt, We Speak From The Heart
Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down. Proverbs 26:20
Have you ever felt that someone disliked you before they even met you? Perhaps, later, you find out that they heard a story about you that colored their perspective. Once you get to know one another, you realize whatever they heard was just plain false. You’ve been a victim of gossip.
If someone offends you, you may want to vent to a friend. We might excuse our gossip as “verbal processing.” Venting often snowballs into speculation, making the offense we’re processing larger than reality in the heat of our emotions. By voicing that frustration to a third party, we pass on that inflated image of someone else’s faults.
“Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks,” says the Bible. (Matthew 12:34). When our pride is our priority, we’ll defend ourselves endlessly. But when we really focus on cultivating love in our hearts, the words that come out of our mouths change too and the less we’re offended by others.
It’s hard to do, but the next time you’re tempted to defend yourself, test your motive for speaking. Is it necessary to correct some else’s opinion? Are you feeling angry? Is there a gentle answer on the tip of your tongue or a scathing comeback?
Sometimes we need to vent our feelings, but the best way to do that is by praying them right to God, journaling privately, or going directly to the person you have a problem with. What is in our hearts, comes out of our mouths!
Resource reading: Colossians 3:8-17