Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest,
whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
I once heard it said, “Do not speak truth of another if there is no virtue or praise in it.” I find that piece of wisdom a blessed paradox to the often-used comment, “It’s the truth,” when speaking negatively about another person. I’ve personally established a rule to generally not pass on information about others, even if it is good news. Is it my call to be the daily newspaper? I find it’s better for me to be slow to leak out information about the most recently engaged couple, the latest mother-to-be or newly diagnosed illness of a friend. Keeping to this rule helps me to choose more wisely when I feel an urge to speak negative words about another.
One wise woman shared that she had three friends facing painful situations. Each could be equally misjudged if spoken about. This godly woman, wondering how she could help, came up with three things:
1. Refrain from judging why it happened.
2. Listen to their heartaches and keep them to myself.
3. Pray for them regularly, specifically and earnestly.
I want to add that piece of wisdom to my desire of not speaking truth of another if there is no virtue or praise in it. And I want to be careful with passing on truth even when there is virtue or praise in it.
Prayer: Father God, You are the One to empower me with guidance in speaking words about another person. Amen.
Make a commitment today to set a watch before your tongue.