Now, this is what the Lord Almighty says:
give careful thought to your ways.
For many years God has been speaking to me about being aware and careful about my ways. He knows that my ways haven't always been His ways, which has caused difficulty in my life.
God is not just calling me to be careful in some of my mays. He is calling me to be careful in all of my ways! That means I am to consider Him in all that I do.
I'm not one of those people who always thinks before she speaks or acts. I have longed to be:
- a woman who speaks with controlled wisdom.
- a woman who stops to pray, and then answers.
- a woman that carefully thinks and prays over each request.
- a woman who prays before reacting to an insult, gossip, or hearsay.
I am more often the woman who reacts.
My reactions leave me agreeing to things that God isn't calling me to do. Only God knows what is best for me and where I will be of service to and for Him.
My reactions leave me saying things that are better left unsaid, or replying with harsh words. God wants me to speak the truth privately when there is an issue, being kind and gentle.
For years my reaction to gossip was to join in. Then God convicted me on a few occasions and showed me just how toxic gossip, twisting words, and hearsay can be.
God has much to say about gossip -
- A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends. (Proverbs 16:28)
- A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret. (Proverbs 11:13)
- The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down in the inmost parts. (Proverbs 18:8)
A gossip betrays confidences, stirs up conflict, separates friends, and flames the fire of lights and quarrels.
How to avoid being a gossip is easy:
Don't say anything about a person that you wouldn't say to their face!
God wants each of us to examine our hearts against His word.
He wants each of us to learn our strengths,our limits, and our calling.
He wants each of us to think before we speak, act, or react.
How do we do what God has called us to do:
- we pray.
- we ask for guidance in all our ways.
- we ask for patience with ourselves and others.
And, most of all, we remember that God loves us, with all our faults. He knows the hardship of life and our struggle to be good.
Our Father knows that if we give careful through to our ways, praying with confidence, He will guide us in the way we should go.
Lord, when YOu call us to your ways, our way becomes so much easier. You don't say this to frustrate us; You say this to free us. You know that when we come to You and pray, our words and actions give honor to You. Thank you. In Your Son, Jesus' name. Amen.