Posted by: bellissimanh | March 29, 2012

Your Name is Safe in their Mouth

A coworker forwarded me an email today… you’ve seen the one. It has a series of quotes from children about what they think love is.

There’s the funny…

Karl – age 5 “Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on after shave and they go out and smell each other.”

The sweet…

Rebecca – age 8 “When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.”

And the profound:

Billy – age 4 “When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.”

My eyes lingered on this one, and it stayed with me all day.  Gossip is such a destructive — and ugly — thing.  We are called to love one another, and in looking at the definition of love given in 1 Corinthians 13, I don’t see how speaking negatively of others fits into the picture painted there.

As I reflected on Billy’s words, I couldn’t help but wonder… with how many people do I really feel that my name is safe in their mouth? Are the names of my friends and brothers in sisters in Christ safe in MY mouth? Do I make it a priority to  keep them safe? To build others up and not tear them down? And not let others tear them down either?

I know the “christianese” and godly response is to say, “Of course! I’m not a gossip. I’m a positive person! I always try to be encouraging and edifying to others.” But if I’m honest, I have to admit that the nice “christian” response is not always what comes out of my mouth. When I grow frustrated with a situation, the temptation to grumble against the ones who are I perceive to be responsible is great. When someone wrongs me, do I take my complaint to the only One who can do something about it (Psalm 142), or do I run around letting everyone on the planet know of the injustice? Am I alone?

I want the names of others to be safe in my mouth. I want people to be able to trust me with the burdens of their hearts and know that their story will not pass my lips to another soul… only to the Father as I intercede on their behalf.  I want to be seen as a woman who is a Barnabas, rather than a Judas. I want to consistently air my grievances to the Lord alone, and not just anyone who will listen (and believe you me, there are plenty willing to listen!). I want to grow up into this faith so that I am a protector of my brethren… a defender of honor… a fountain of blessing… a vessel of His love and compassion.  I want their names to be safe in my mouth.

Father, we have so far to go on this journey of faith you and I. Thank You for Your patience with me, for Your gentle guidance, for Your absolute love for me just the way I am, and Your absolute refusal to leave me the way I am. I love You, Lord. Make me worthy. Make me holy.

1 Corinthians 13:1-13

If I speak in the tongues of men and angels,
but have not love,
I have become sounding brass or a tinkling symbol. 

And if I have prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge,
and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains,
but have not love, I am nothing. 

And if I dole out all my goods, and
if I deliver my body that I may boast
but have not love, nothing I am profited.

Love is long suffering,
love is kind,
it is not jealous,
love does not boast,
it is not inflated.

It is not discourteous,
it is not selfish,
it is not irritable,
it does not enumerate the evil.
It does not rejoice over the wrong, but rejoices in the truth

It covers all things,
it has faith for all things,
it hopes in all things,
it endures in all things.

Love never falls in ruins;
but whether prophecies, they will be abolished; or
tongues, they will cease; or
knowledge, it will be superseded.

For we know in part and we prophecy in part.

But when the perfect comes, the imperfect will be superseded.  

When I was an infant,
I spoke as an infant,
I reckoned as an infant;

when I became [an adult],
I abolished the things of the infant. 

For now we see through a mirror in an enigma, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know as also I was fully known. 

But now remains
faith, hope, love,

these three;

but the greatest of these is love.

Do you find yourself struggling with this too? I’d love to pray for you! I’d also love to hear if you have one friend in particular that is a jewel to you… one in whose mouth you know your name is safe. How do you know?

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Responses

  1. I do struggle with this and have to check my attitude, and seek His help to try and love the way we are commanded to do. It is not always easy when people let you down, or turn their backs on you. Sometimes we expect too much from people and they are not at the place we want them to be at in our lives.
    Yes I have a friend like that, and I am glad you are in my life!!!
    Love you! God bless you always!!
    Papa

  2. I love you too, Papa!

    It IS hard, isn’t it? It’s that constant battle between flesh and Spirit. I’m thankful that I know who will have the final victory!

  3. Thanks for sharing this so much. Gossip, in my past has destroyed so much. In the present I have really sought to change that, praise God. I see how destructive it has become recently with a close group of friends and I feel super discouraged by it. I continue to pray for healing an growth for my group of friends, including myself, because I know God has big plans for each of us and Satan has no power over us by the blood of Jesus Christ. Amen!!!

  4. Cassandra – I’ll be praying you through. It’s tough to be the one to put our foot down and confront gossip (in love), but God has called us to live so far above the pettiness of this destructive behavior. I’m convinced that some people just don’t see it for what it is — sin — and they really don’t realize how damaging it is, or how far reaching the effects of their tearing down others can be. I’ll be praying that the Lord will bring healing to your group of friends, and that through the situation, He will draw you all closer to one another, and to Himself. (((hugs)))


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