One thing that has always bothered me is gossip. I’ve never really liked people talking about me to others and for that reason I try not to talk about others in the same way. I mean, I will share the piece of positive news about friends or that tidbit of information about friends that is meant to build them up or let others know that they need prayer, but if I don’t think it would be something someone wouldn’t want shared I won’t share it. I guess that was something I was taught. It seems though that this is not common any longer. Why is it that many people find it easier to talk about someone else’s failings and less about the Gospel of Jesus Christ? What is less offensive about saying something behind someone’s back than sharing the life giving Word that is the way, the truth, and the life? It doesn’t make much sense, yet we seem to continually light fires against others with our tongues while quenching the Holy Spirit at the same time. “I don’t want to offend…” is a common way to open a sentence, but often we find after those words comes a diatribe of words that can only be offensive. I was taught if you can’t say something to someone’s face it is better to not say it at all. It is a reminder of what Scripture speaks about and James reminds us in the 3rd chapter of his letter as he speaks of the tongue like an untameable thing that can spread fire. He also reminds us of the conundrum we create when out of our mouths that are meant to praise God comes curses. I have known many “good” people that when crossed say some of the most vile things. This is what James is speaking of when he speaks of does a salt water stream produce fresh water? Many people are more offended by profanity than they are by some of the profane things that we do to each other. We are called to be different, we are called to be more. We are called to be salt and light in the world. Unlike salt water, salt itself preserves. We are called to speak words that are life giving and support one another, offering correction privately and seeking to cover another’s shame. Let your mouth spring forth fresh, life giving water that refreshes all those with whom you come into contact.