It’s Just Girlfriends Talking

It’s Just Girlfriends Talking

March 24, 2014

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)

My mouth has always gotten me in trouble. You might say I am “quick to speak, slow to think.” Apparently, the filter between my brain and my mouth doesn’t always work well.

I don’t mean to hurt anyone. I mean, it’s not really “gossip.” That’s wrong, I know. But this is only harmless sharing … really. I’m concerned and share those concerns. It’s just girlfriends talking. Right?

The danger of “just girlfriends talking” hit hard after recalling a recent conversation with a friend after church. After speaking my mind, I realized the woman we were chatting about was very close to where the conversation took place. Panic and a sick feeling stirred in my stomach. Questions raced through my mind:

Did she hear us?

How should I act when I see her?

What kind of excuse can I make up for why we were talking about her?

Words from Ephesians 4:29 rushed into my mind as conviction filled my heart: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

Nothing in that conversation had been helpful in building up the topic of our conversation. Not one word spoken brought benefit to anyone who listened. Our conversation was truly gossip — casual, unconstrained talk.

That potentially-damaging conversation made me realize once again the power of my words. I can use them to hurt or to help.

I’m committed to making a change with my words. Oh how different my conversations are when I use the acronym “T.H.I.N.K.” before saying anything. This helps me determine if I should speak or keep silent. Are my words:

T: True?

H: Helpful?

I: Inspiring?

N: Necessary?

K: Kind?

I love to talk. But sometimes my careless chatter has hurt others, and my loose lips have left me full of regret. However, God’s Word and the T.H.I.N.K. acronym help me to use my words wisely. They help me know when to press pause so I can walk away from a conversation without any regrets.

Will you join me in becoming more than just a girlfriend talking? Will you challenge yourself to T.H.I.N.K. before you speak and to use your words to benefit as well as to build up others?

Dear Lord, You gave us one mouth and two ears for a reason. Help me think before I speak. I want to be a wise woman and use my words to help, heal, honor, benefit and build up those who listen. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Click here to find out more about considering Wendy Pope as your next retreat or keynote speaker.

Visit Wendy’s blog to read her personal testimony of the power of today’s truth.

This devotion is an adaptation of a teaching from Wendy’s Bible study, Trusting God for a Better Tomorrow: A Study of Psalms, available in e-book and soft cover.

Reflect and Respond:
Put to memory T.H.I.N.K. How can this acronym benefit your relationships?

Is there a recent conversation you regret? Consider if you need to apologize for any hurtful words.

Power Verses:
Psalm 141:3, “Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.” (NIV)

James 1:26, “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.” (NIV)

© 2014 by Wendy Pope. All rights reserved.

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Comments

  1. THINK= Truthful
    Helpful
    Inspiring
    Necessary
    Kindness…
    By creating a little poem to help remember the word, you can understand how to react to whatever others may be saying. This word can help you learn that true kindness comes from within. Recent conversation I regret? Thinking outside the box, I’d have to say that it would have to be last year when I got mad at my husband, @Ron because he was going to have a procedure. At this time I didn’t feel it was really a good idea for him to go through with it because I thought he’d be in more pain than he was letting me on to believe. Unfortunately, those who were around during the argument bad-mouthed me because they were under the impression that I was being unsupportive of myhubby’s choice to have this done- as he was looking out for me, he said. apologized for that, but I was still scared about him going under the knife not too long after the disagreement happened. Ultimately, my mom and I didn’t exactly see eye to eye prior to the marriage. She was agreeing with my dad that we shouldn’t marry because of our disabilities. Regardless, she eventually apologized for how she’d treated us, knowing how hurt we both were. “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)
    I think that this verse is telling us that we shouldn’t allow anything negative to out of our mouths whatsoever. We should be holy in all that we do, even in what we say. It’s all about building others up in a positive way.
    Words from Ephesians 4:29 rushed into my mind as conviction filled my heart: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
    I don’t like taking part in gossip. I don’t even like hearing people saying bad things about me and my wonderful husband, Ron Smith. Just because we both have disabilities doesn’t mean that our feelings get hurt easily. If you say something mean to us, or about us behind our backs, do we not cry Do we not bleed if you push us down and scrape our bodies? Do we not feel insaulted if you make fun of the way we are because of our disabilities? “Dear Lord, You gave us one mouth and two ears for a reason. Help me think before I speak. I want to be a wise woman and use my words to help, heal, honor, benefit and build up those who listen. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”~ Wendy Pope Inspiring! What a wonderful prayer! I wonder if people will eventually learn that mistreating those with physical disabilities…or mental, visual, or intellectual disabilities…isn’t a good thing to do whatsoever. I was taught at a young age not to tease others because of how they look, their ethnicity, or even their disability. Psalm 141:3, “Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.” (NIV)
    I think we should always ask God to guard against what we say. In various situations can have a positive or negative impact on those around us. If we want to uplift someone, we need to speak positve words to them. Speaking life, rather than death, is what God wants us to do at al times, no matter the circumstances.
    James 1:26, “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.” (NIV)
    We may consider ourselves Christians, but do we really act holy when we’re outside of hurch. I’ve seen people acting one way in church; however, you notice a cmpletely different side of someone when they are outside of hanging out with their church friends in the holy presence of the Almighty God.See More

  2. Good message today. I need reminded of this daily. I did a bible study once & the leader would often open up with a saying that went like this: “the absent are spoken well of here”. That has stuck with me & whispered to me at certain times & I obeyed. And then other times I did not. Yesterday I heard a message from a t.v. pastor & he was saying about speaking honor into others. Like getting into the habit of talking good about others. What we sow is what we shall reap.

  3. Tammy Harrington says:

    What an amazing devotion! The words stung my heart because it is so true; how would someone feel if I were not building them up but tearing them down. I love the acronym, THINK! I will put into memory and try to keep my composure with remembering God gave me two ears and one mouth!
    I pray not to become a loner so that whatever I say in confidence will not be shared with others as a needed conversation because is it concern for me or mere talk. Many times painful but as the scriptures state, this too shall pass. Be an open book for Christ! Again, thanks for the devotion and the many words of wisdom!

  4. Great way to remember it. There’s not one person who doesn’t do this at some time or another. And not just women either. My son is great at this and he wears a size 13. As soon as you are aware of it the best thing you can do is admit it. To The Lord , and then when The Lord makes the opportunity to the person. Notice The Lord makes the opportunity. You and I may mean well……but if we go in our own strength we can make it worse. So as in all things prayer .

  5. Peace Mirembe says:

    Thank you Wendy for today’s devotion. It’s a great reminder to us.

  6. Very convicting – thank you. 95% of the time I try to watch what I say but that other 5% – not really pretty.

  7. Wendy – this is so well written! Thank you for this! The acronym THINK should be on billboards everywhere! Thank you Proverbs.31 for always exemplifying HIS word. Such a true God send!

  8. Thank you for the acronym T.H.I.N.K. Today will be a better day.

  9. My pastor recently suggested putting James 1:19 to music as a dance step, much like ballroom dancing-

    Quick slow slow

    Quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger

    T.H.I.N.K–quick slow slow

  10. This is the second time in 24 hours that Ephesians 4:29 has been shown to me, and it comes right on the heals of a major transgression with my mouth. Thank you, Wendy, for such an honest post. When we are transparent about our sins, we are better able to receive God’s help to conquer them and encourage each other to do likewise. Sometimes, it feels like other Christian women have it all together, and that my major imperfection disqualifies me from counting myself as one. When I see that we are all the same, with the very same struggles, it helps me to be honest with myself and others and be convicted, not condemned. Thanks again.

  11. In 12 step, THINK is: thoughtful, honest, intelligent, necessary, and kind. If it ain’t those, I’m not allowed to say it or communicate it. Which can be pretty tough.

  12. Wendy Horton says:

    Boy oh Boy were you speaking at me. I struggle with this a lot! It is especially hard to read something like this and know it is meant for you to hear and then you see it is written by someone named . . Wendy . . and your name is . . . WENDY.
    Thank you for sharing your insight and guidance. I strive to do better.

  13. Have you been reading my journal? This definitely stepped on my toes – in a good way. I tend to be the type of person who likes to analyze and figure out why people act the way they do so I can understand them. Unfortunately, this tendency combined with my tendency to talk a lot, sets me up to be an inadvertent gossip. Telling myself that I am “just a verbal processor” really doesn’t make it okay to talk with my friends about someone else. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve felt guilty and regretful over letting my mouth flap away – I mean how would I feel if the shoe was on the other foot? This is something I pray about a lot because my mouth gets me in trouble. I’d rather have to say MORE than to regret saying too much. I now wear a bracelet with the verse, Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Your sight. Just seeing that visual reminder helps me stop to think before I open my mouth – at least more than it used to. Thanks for this post and good reminder! 🙂

  14. I really enjoyed this and the prayer is something quite familiar since it is something my grandfather cautioned a few of us cousins on more than one occasions. God’s wise creation having one mouth and two ears and eyes.

  15. Thank you for this devotion! I love the acronym that you came up with, it’s a great guideline. I struggle with knowing when to share information about a situation sometimes. Usually they are frustrations that I have about a situation or a person and how they treated me and my family. I think it is very hard to not vent to the wrong person and to actually have the right conversation with the right person. I am experiencing a problem like this now but I know that if I talk to this person they will not listen due to conversations in the past. My family and I have distanced ourselves from them and mutual friends are asking prying questions. It’s hard to know how to respond and not offend. I will pray that God gives me the right words in response.

    Thank you for this devotion! As usual, God’s timing is perfect.
    Montessa

  16. Oh, you are speaking to my heart today!
    I struggle with my filter and it has passed to my daughter as well. I like how you made THINK into an acronym – beautiful!! . I will definitely work on THINKing more, especially while parenting – that’s where I get in to the most trouble. My daughter with the practically non-existent filter challenges me on a daily basis; and, I believe she is one of God’s gifts to me ( not just in the fact that she’s my baby girl) in learning to let go and let Him handle what is out of my perceived control.
    (I must say that your THINK would make a fun & funky image quote we can use to remind ourselves)

  17. I really needed this today. My problem is not so much with gossiping with other women,but often using “unwholesome” talk to my husband. God is convicting me of this and it’s time I stop being critical and THINK before I speak!

  18. I’ve said things that later I’ve regetted also,My words just sometimes don’t come out right.

  19. I have this prayer I created taped to my wall at the Public Defender’s Office where I work:

    “Lord help me check my motivation in everything I do, in everything I say, in every question I ask. Help me be brave and strong enough to walk away when the gossip starts. Help me keep true to a motivation that is loving, helpful and with resolution to make all people and things better. And if I cannot do that, steal my voice so only my heart is corrupt and I don’t corrupt the heart of others”

    I wrote that after GOD said to me one day that I was being destructive and in the same breath asking for him to build me up. I was absolutely broken by it all. It changed my life for good.

  20. Melvina Bennett says:

    Prayer request for my 2 daughters and my 3 sons am a born again Christian holding on to God in my life an I would like a special prayer request for my son Emmanuel let God guide and protect him and keep him out of trouble
    God bless

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