” A perverse person stirs up conflict and a gossip separates close friends.” — Proverbs 16:28 “He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.” — Proverbs 13:3
I must share something that I just did. Yes, I gossiped a bit in an email. Now we know we shouldn’t gossip, but more importantly, we should NEVER gossip in an email. After I sent an email to a friend I double checked to make sure that I really sent it to the intended recipient. All clear. It went without any complications. However, it did make me aware that if I didn’t want to send it to more than one person, I probably shouldn’t have sent it at all!
Last week, I was texting two people at the same time. One was Susan, a co-worker who I was discussing month end deadlines with and the other was my daughter, Lori, who I was discussing my new bicycle with. Imagine Lori’s confusion when the conversation went like this:
Me: Dad and I went biking today.
L: How was it?
Me: I’ll tell you tomorrow.
L: (Smiley Face)
Me: Just picture me hopping up and down saying, “crap. crap crap. — Where did April go?”
When Susan didn’t reply to my text, I wondered if she was laughing at the image of me jumping up and down or if she was concerned about my overuse of the word “crap” in a text. She simply didn’t reply. Lori didn’t reply either, probably because my strange words made her speechless (or textless so to speak.) My phone went from buzzing and dinging as two people were texting to being inanimate in my hand. After investigating, I recognized my error and had a laugh at my own expense. I thought it was funny, but I did realize that it might NOT have been funny if I had accidentally sent the text to one of the Pastors I work on a local administrative board with or even a parent of my 8 year old daughter’s whose contact information I have. I was spared great embarrassment.
So, you would think I would learn my lesson. Today I was spared again. I really did send the message to the intended party, but in reality, I could have skipped sending it at all. It is my hope that I will pause before I hit “send” the next time and decide if I should hit send or delete.
“When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.” — Proverbs 10:19
Further Reading: James 3:1-17 Taming the Tongue