“The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts” (Proverbs 18:8).

“He who answers before listening¾that is his folly and his shame” (Proverbs 18:13).

“The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him” (Proverbs 18:17).

These verses on conversation touch on three great problems in the church today: gossip, not listening, and listening to only one side. All of these can be corrected by a simple choice. However, that means that there will be no more “choice morsels,” no “ego talking,” and no choosing up sides. Here are two passages from the New Testament to help you in your decision:

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29).

“My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19).

Our speech should be for others, and our listening should be for others.

This post coordinates with next Monday’s reading in the To the Word! Bible Reading Challenge. If you are not in a daily reading plan, please join us. We would love to have you reading with us.