James 3:8 – But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. (KJV)
In my hometown there was an abandoned store, which used to be the company store, when the mining company owned the town. The vacant storefront became a meeting place for the neighbourhood youth. We would congregate on the old porch of the store, usually up to no good. Needless to say, all the large windows in front of the store were eventually broken. I still carry a scar on my neck, earned when a couple of my friends threw me through one of the windows. They really did not mean any malice — except to the window. Had the piece of glass been an inch lower, the only way I would be here to tell this story would have been if I had landed on the steps of a medical clinic.
Even though my friends were just fooling, I was hurt, and could have been more seriously hurt. In fact, I was laughing — until I found that the wetness on my neck was a red colour. Throwing stones in glass houses is destructive. Throwing bodies against glass walls can be downright dangerous.
This is kind of like gossip: it is always destructive, and, many times, people are hurt. I may carry a scar, but others who have been the victims of malicious talk carry deeper scars.
God expects us to guard our actions and our tongues. Let us love others as ourselves, and treat them with respect.
Prayer: Father, teach us to truly love as Jesus loves us. An unruly tongue can hurt a lot of people. Help us to refrain from unkind and malicious talk, through the presence of Christ's love. Amen.