Before you talk about my friend,take a moment and filter what you’re going to say.
In ancient Greece, Socrates was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem. One day an acquaintance met the great philosopher and said, “Do you know what I just heard about your friend?” “Hold on a minute,” Socrates replied. “Before telling me anything, I’d like you to pass a little test. It’s called the Triple Filter Test.” “Triple filter?” “That’s right,” Socrates continued. “Before you talk to me about my friend, it might be a good idea to take a moment and filter what you’re going to say. That’s why I call it the triple filter test. The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?” “No,” the man said, “actually I just heard about it and…” “All right,” said Socrates. “So you don’t really know if it’s true or not. Now let’s try the second filter, the filter of goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good?””No, on the contrary…” “So,” Socrates continued, “you want to tell me something bad about him, but you’re not certain it’s true. You may still pass the test though, because there’s one filter left: the filter of usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me?””Well, not really.””Well,” concluded Socrates, “if what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?”
The gift of communication is perhaps one of God’s dearest gifts to us. Using simple words, we can express love, gratitude, honor and many other positive emotions that we feel for others. But words can also express pride, fear, distrust, hate and other negative emotions that we struggle with each day.Once words come out of your mouth, you can never take them back. Like a broken record they keep replaying in the mind of the person they were spoken to, and just like the broken record some people never move on in their lives because of those words. In other words, one of the primary ways we show that we are truly members of God’s family is by keeping our mouth shut when we’re tempted to gossip. It really gets scary when you think about what Christ said in Matthew 12:36 I promise you that on the day of judgment, everyone will have to account for every careless word they have spoken.
Notice He didn’t say that we would have to give an account for ‘most’ of our idle words, or for the worst things we said, but for EVERY careless word. Our speech is under heavenly surveillance, and we are all building up quite a dialogue database. If you have ever felt like someone is listening to your conversations….you are right, because God is. When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal… Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider when a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers (and sisters) this should not be. Before you say a word to anyone about someone today, make sure what you say has passed the triple filter test…is it true, is it good, is it useful.
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those whoLove to talk will have to eat their own words.