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But then (assuming it’s not about something dangerous like abuse or suicidal thoughts where I need to find them help), do I keep the secret I hear? Or will I find the juicy tidbit too sweet and succumb to the temptation to gossip? Or even worse, will I hide the gossip behind the Christian veneer of “sharing a prayer need?”
This week’s cliché (unoriginal thought) provides the solution: My lips are sealed. On a practical level, if my lips are pressed together, I can’t communicate anything clearly. (And yes, I’ve offered this advice frequently to my special needs Princess when she gets into a whining mood.)
Yet, as I’ve been thinking about this familiar sentiment, there are other times when keeping my mouth shut would be a good idea. What about times I’m tempted to criticize the decisions a boss, coach, or other leaders make? Complain about my spouse’s or a child’s behavior? Point out another’s mistakes? Or even belittle my own abilities or appearance?
Which brings to mind another familiar saying most mothers around the world have repeated often enough: if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.
In this journey called life, there is tremendous power in the spoken word … and many times when it would be best to keep my lips sealed.
What about you? Are you tempted more to gossip or to complain? Do you find it easier to find the good in situations or the bad? Can you think of any other clichés that would apply in this situation?