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Me and My Big Mouth!
During World War II the government realized that the majority of citizen-soldiers had no idea on how to conduct themselves to prevent inadvertent disclosure of important information to the enemy. Central to maintaining national security was the Office of War Information Drive to limit talk about the war in both public and private arenas of American life. Silence meant security.
As such, great emphasis was placed on educating servicemen and civilians about the need for secrecy concerning military matters and massive advertising campaigns were launched. In fact, the advertising campaign was so large that no other series of World War II posters portrayed such a recurring theme as this. It is from this era that the statement "Loose Lips Sink Ships" was born.
What are the effects of gossip? Think. Where does the enemy (Satan) get his information - information that can put you, your family, friends or coworkers, adrift on an open sea: information that can damage relationships and cause you to lose even more, unless you personally, vigilantly, perform your duty by not gossiping?
Are we not in our own, local version, of "wartime" each and every day? Is not our Enemy, Satan who watches our every move and listens to our words in order to gather information that can be used against us, or used to influence our words or behavior that will pull us away from God's love and mercy? Although our daily lives may not contain all the horror or evil associated with wartime, the battle against good and evil, and how each of us chooses to act, and react, to this on a daily basis is similar.
Most of the time, our talk is a positive attribute. It helps us make friends quickly and helps other feel included in a group. But sometimes, we get so caught up in talking and "doing what comes naturally" that we forget to think before we open our mouths.
"The kindest word in all the is the unkind word, unsaid." -- Unknown
The Ten Commandments give us some basic rules on how to behave towards others. And the next to the last commandment, nine, is particularly important.
"You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor." Deuteronomy 5:20
This commandment tells us not to tell lies about others which include anything that's even slightly untrue - including half truths, exaggerations, stores that might be true, but you don't know for sure, or stores that are partially true. If you believe in the ninth commandment then you will find yourself refusing to pass on "juicy" information about anyone. Instead, you'll spread kind, encouraging and complimentary words.
"The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly." Proverbs 15:2
It is no surprise that God, who knows us, created us and loves us, takes such a clear and strong stand on gossip. He knows how easily trash talk (or gossip) can ruin another person's reputation, introduce mistrust or anger into relationships, encourage gossiper's to further embellish stories for more dramatic effect, and/or cause the gossiper to even sin further by being tempted to lie when confronted by someone with "Did you really say that about me?"
So, how do you know when you're hearing or spreading gossip vs. good news or truths? There are two questions you can ask yourself:
1. Is the news I have to share "approved" for sharing with others?
2. Would I want this news shared about me?
One thing you can be sure of, if you gossip, it WILL come back to you and will eventually haunt and hurt you as well. Let's not forget the Golden Rule that says: "Do unto others what you would have them do to you." Matthew 7:12
If you have ever found, or find yourself, gossiping, then you're not alone. Don't despair, tear yourself down, or get discouraged. All you need to do is ask for God's help with prayer and Bible study, and introduce some strategies in your life to help you stop gossiping.
"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." Proverbs 16:24
Article written by: Michele Webb - Author of "Help for Loose Lips." Michele's book is written from her own experience as an employee, manager and a member of her local Christian community, as well as Webmaster of an online store and website. For detailed information and a link to the entire eBook, visit her website at: http://www.ebooksnstuff.com/ebooks_Christian.html
Email the Author at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You are free to copy and use this article for your own eZine as long as it is not altered or modified in any way. The author would appreciate an email and weblink if you decide to use this article.
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