The Fasting Tongue and Rewriting the Story
“If you remove from your midst, oppression, false accusation and malicious speech … Repairer of the breach, they shall call you, Restorer of ruined homesteads” – Isa 58:9b-12
Saturday’s reading touched me very deeply. In my understanding, the above passage is warning about the destructiveness of gossip. Unfortunately, gossip is something that travels quickly and often develops a life of it’s own as the story gets embellished as it passes from person to person. I have no patience for it. This is where the roots of my church hurt started – ungracious words about my “behaviour” under the guise of concern, prayer or venting. To anyone reading this, please know that this type of talk is incredibly damaging to all parties – the person talking, the person listening, and the person who is being talked about. If you are tempted, please don’t do it. And if you are the receiver of gossip, please shut it down. If you wonder about someone’s actions, simply ask them. Nobody can judge what is in another person’s heart, but God himself. Please remember grace.
“Jesus was led by the sprit into the desert to be tempted by the devil” – Matt 4:1
Sunday’s reflection was a call to remember who we are in God. It described how Jesus was tempted in the desert to relate to God and people in a way that was twisted from God’s original design. Jesus fought the temptation to be anything other than who God made Him to be, even if being so included a more difficult path to walk.
I have decided to put the week-end devotionals together. So how do these two reflections build upon what I have learned this week?
Well, with respect to the warning against gossip – I don’t participate outwardly. However, I do think ungracious things about people who have hurt me. I have become judgemental at times. This is something I have to give up this season. Any negative commentary about someone that starts swirling around in my head should be replaced with something positive. And if this is not possible, then remaining neutral is the next best solution. Thinking bad thoughts about a person does nothing to encourage or repair a relationship. Plus negativity just brings a person down. Better to drop the whole thing and go marvel at the beauty of a sunset.
Sunday’s verse reminds me of who I really am when I face malicious gossip directed at me. No matter what anybody says, God’s love for me never changes. I am still his child. He still loves me and has good plans for me. Other’s may give up on me or abandon me, but He never will. Harsh words may cause me to feel like I am “less than”. But God’s love reminds me that I am just as worthy as anyone else. I live my life on this. It has brought me through some rough waters. I hope this writing can serve to encourage others.