"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 have always believed that people deserved to hear what was on my mind. with the culture of freedom of speech that i learned in UP and working for companies that taught me how to be more aggressive, i have often been outspoken to the point of no restraint in the manner that i delivered the message.
true, people deserved to know what their shortcomings were, or what were the things that they did wrong. but it is also true that how we say things can also matter. and to think that i teach that for a living, right?
i found that the more hurtful the words were, the easier it was for people to learn. i thought it was okay to say "truth hurts, deal with it." but isn't it better to say that the truth should educate us? what we say should make other people learn instead of just feeling bad about it. we should bear in mind that people have different personalities and ways of digesting certain information. different strokes for different folks.
another hurtful form of messages would be gossip. again, we argue, most of these are true anyway. but what happens when we gossip? do we get anything out of it? are we helping the people by talking about it? the sad things is, messages may evolve from what was originally said.
once, i shared my thoughts about certain situations to a trusted friend at work. i tried to be very objective with the situation, picking her brain on whether what i thought was right or wrong. i went to her because i wanted to look at the situation in an intellectual manner. it turned out she got me wrong. she thought i was planting thoughts in her mind that would make her turn on our bosses. in the end, she may have mentioned what we talked about to our bosses, and one of them ignored me, without asking me what was that about. i never talked to anyone else about it, so only one person can be the source.
i felt bad, i felt betrayed. because had she clarified with me what my real intention was before talking to other people about it, no friendships could've been broken. the way that she delivered the news may be different from what my real intention was.
i am guilty of gossiping. and it is a daily struggle not to participate in "small talk" about other people. i should start choosing what to listen to and when to talk about stuff. sometimes i feel good when i know information about people, but not all these things are good for the heart.
it is wise to think that everytime we say something about other people, we are talking about our brothers and sisters, our family. lately, if i feel that i may have said something wrong, i quickly say sorry while looking up. kinda comedic, but it's a start for me.
with this, i pray Father that i will be able to be more constructive in what i say about other people. please let me be alert if what i'm saying is helpful or hurtful. i hope that in all conversations, i can mentally erase what is not useful, and only spread good news. although i know that i will encounter people who will talk about other folks, help me be aware of how i should react. instead of being trivial, i hope to be able to spread Your Word in any little way, so the people around me can see the miracle of change that You blessed me with. everyday is a struggle, but with Your grace, i can start censoring myself and be a better communicator.