Dear Ones,
Hope you wake to a day full of promise and joy.  Your question for this week is, How do you handle gossip when spoken in your presence?
Today I am going downstairs for donuts and this afternoon we have Bible Study. So thankful Al is well and can lead it today! 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  Our words are so important, for out of our mouths come words that can heal but also words that can destroy others. We must guard what we say for death and life are in the power of the tongue and one day we will have to give account for every careless word we have spoken. What comes out of our mouths shows what is really in our hearts.
   We are warned not to let any corrupt talk come out of our mouths bur rather words that build up others and give grace to those who hear. It is better to remain silent than to speak harsh words that only stirs up anger.
   When we gossip, we sin against the person for we can destroy their reputation and it may or not be factual. This person has no chance to redeem himself for he doesn’t know what is said or what conclusions others have arrived at. It can affect others in the Body of Christ of which he is a member, for the listeners may choose to believe the gossiper without giving him a chance.
   Even St. Bernard of Clairvaux was a target of gossip at his monastery and he said, “The slandering tongue strikes a blow against charity in all who listen to it and, as far as possible, wounds and destroys (charity) utterly. Not only that, but it strikes even those who are absent, to whom the word comes, flying forth from those who were present.”  He goes on to say that such words are able to infect a whole multitude of people.
    That can happen in our churches and groups today when negative words are spoken as prayer requests or under the guise of how much it pains them to say this morsel of gossip. James warns us not to speak evil against one another and to bridle our tongues.
  Rather than words that destroy let it be said of our words as in Prov. 25:11(ESV), “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” May our words be gracious and spoken in love that will bring healing.
  Challenge for today: Guard your tongue and when given the chance stop gossip that you may hear.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy