If I am going to be completely honest, I find there is something (sickly) satisfying about listening to someone complaining or a story about someone getting what they “deserved”. You know that feeling where you sit enthralled, nodding your head as you sit on the edge of your seat, excusing something all in the name of “justice”? Even more with the honesty, it feels good to be the one complaining. And when you’re the one retelling that story, you feel like you are gifting the world with a righteous tale. Key word in this description above: sickly satisfying. Because it is exactly that: a sickness.
I am definitely not perfect in this, and I know very few people whose words are consistently uplifting and encouraging, not speaking bad of anyone else (my husband). Truthfully, I have found myself get frustrated when he lovingly won’t go along with my complaints and abruptly shuts down my gossip. How thankful I am for him.
This morning while I was reading, I came across this (righteous) dagger to the heart:
Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. (2 Timothy 2:16).
Whoops and amen? Is it possible to be 100% convicted and so sure of the truth in something at the same time?
I’ve seen and experienced how bit by bit, this “chatter” (in the form of complaints, gossip, rehashing the past, etc.) slowly turns me into a monster. While on the outside I seem bubbly and loving, my insides are dripping with ugly thoughts and feelings.
Even more so, it doesn’t say avoid only complaining and gossiping, it says avoid ALL GODLESS CHATTER. Isn’t that basically all of my speech, then?
Is me saying how tired I am actually helpful? Does me voicing my doubts about what the dentist recently did to my teeth constitute as chatter? Maybe not the first time (because a girl’s got to process), but, the 5th, 6th, and 20th time? Yes. Definitely, yes.
I am not saying that every single word out of my mouth needs to come straight from the Old Testament. But, we know (at least I do) when what we’re saying is actually something that does no one any good. When it’s just words. And grumpy ones at that.
I need to be thinking before I speak, more. I need to practice speaking life-giving words and not empty, life-sucking words.