I got a phone message one day from a neighbor. She simply said that she knew I liked to run and if I ever wanted to run with someone to give her a call. What I didn’t know until much later is that God had been speaking to her heart and wouldn’t let up until she made that call.
We did start running together and what started out as a simple act of obedience on her part wound up developing into an amazing friendship. This was also a huge answer to prayer for me. I had been praying for a friend who is exactly like Holly.
Not only is Holly one of my closest friends but she is also now my executive assistant. In other words she keeps me straight on many levels and I love every minute of it.
One day Holly gave me a unique gift that made my heart feel forever safe with her. Though it wasn’t costly to her, it wound up being priceless to me.
She committed to me that she would never say anything dishonoring about me ever. It was actually more than just a commitment to me, it was a covenant promise she’d made with God. I can’t even express what peace this brought to my heart.
It’s not that I feared my other friends were gossiping about me. I did not. And I can’t say that my other friends wouldn’t make this same promise. They probably would. But Holly verbalized this commitment in a very bold way. A way that has defined our friendship and built a beautiful trust that is rare between women.
Gossip is such a hard thing. It is easy to slip into and hard to walk away from. If we just assume we won’t be tempted to gossip, we are fooling ourselves and potentially setting ourselves up for trouble. Verbalizing to a friend that they can trust us to never betray them puts action to several crucial verses of Scripture.
First, refusing to gossip keeps us from trouble. Proverbs 21:23 says, “He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.” I’ve found, it’s not good to be put in situations where idle chatter abounds. When I’m with my friends I try to bring up topics to discuss that lead to positive, life giving conversations.
The second verse is Proverbs 10:19 which says, “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.” I am a girl so without a doubt I love talking. However, I try to limit the number of words that I speak. This can be hard When I want to jump in and add my two cents to every conversation. But I’ve found the less words I speak, the more intentional I can be with the words I do say.
Something I’ve taught my kids is to ask three questions before speaking: Are my words kind? Are they true? And are they necessary?
The third crucial verse that is put into action when we verbalize our commitment to never betray a friend’s trust is 1 John 3:18. It says, “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” In other words, let’s just not say we love our friends. Let’s put the truth of Scriptures in practice by showing our love with trustworthy and pure actions.
Not only was I encouraged by Holly’s commitment, I was challenged to watch my words like never before. Care to join me in accepting this challenge?
It not only makes friendships richer but even more importantly learning to control the words we speak makes our relationship with the Lord more authentic and believable. James 1: 26 says, “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.”
Let me know if you’ve decided to accept this challenge.
Also share some things that have helped you safeguard your words.