IF YOU CAN’T SAY SOMETHING NICE...
I stood there listening. Why was I listening?
“I’ve told her all of this. I’m not talking behind her back”
Yet she was.
The subject of our conversation was not with us.
I knew that if she knew the words that were being spoken, it would hurt.
It was wrong. I was wrong.
And then we add trite little end tails to our conversations, to make ourselves feel better.
“Just pray for her” or~
“I’m sorry, I just had to vent” ~
“It’s just so frustrating”...
But we are tearing down.
We aren’t just speaking about another woman, we are speaking against God’s child. The child that He loves with incredible, awe inspiring love.
“Talk to them, not about them”.
I’ve heard this phrase before and it immediately pricks my heart. And then this deceitful heart of mine comes up with all the reasons why I can’t talk to her.
It won’t do any good.
She won’t listen.
I’ve tried before and look what happened.
You don’t know what she’s like.
She’s impossible to deal with.
But HE does know.
And HE loves still.
And He asks me~Why haven’t you talked to ME about this?
I AM the God of the impossible.
My heart becomes heavy at the thought that if Jesus was sitting here next to me as we spoke~
would I choose the same words?
Would I voice the same complaints? Would I listen to the same conversation without feeling tremendous conviction inside?
He is here with me~
And I allow it all.
How easy it is to find the faults in others and to speak those thoughts out loud, but somehow justify our own behavior.
The same behavior that our Savior took on Himself when He died for me.
Your silence as others speak ill is just as wrong as if you said the words yourself.
There will be times where unpleasant situations need to be addressed but, in Matthew 18 God lays out a roadmap on how He wants this done.
Conveniently, we tend to skip a few steps.
We tend to involve people who have nothing to do with the situation other than being someone we feel comfortable complaining/“sharing prayer requests” with. We cave in to the natural impulse to share others shortcomings thinking it somehow makes us look better.
But it doesn’t.
Even if we are the quiet listener instead of the news giver, our silence tends to reinforce their bad behavior.
We can all take a lesson from our mothers~
“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”....
So flee that conversation. Walk away. Shut your mouth. Whatever needs to be done.
And give it to God. He already knows all about it anyway.
And He already has the solution.