Trash talking is prevalent in our society today. Let’s start with politics. One politician makes an interesting observation. An opposing politician takes opposition to the statement. He/she does not only voice his/her opposition, but he/she has to attack the person who made the first observation. Words like fool, stupid, asinine, and idiot flows from the person’s mouth. That person has the disease of trash talking.
The Apostle Paul says that the Jesus follower is not to succumb to the verbal disease of trash talking. He states, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander ..” (Ephesians 4:31) Bitterness is an evil feeling that poisons our mind against someone. Rage is the outward explosion coming from inward bitterness. Usually, the rage turns into harsh words and evil speaking.
How do we defeat this spiritual verbal disease known as trash-talking? Here is the antidote to this disease. Talk to God about others instead of talking about them.
Paul had a habit of doing this. In each of the thirteen epistles (letters) that he wrote, he always began by thanking God for the people and praying for them. The Book of Philippians illustrates this. Paul wrote, “I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.”
Paul took a positive approach and taught us how to deal with people. Here is what he prayed for to develop in the lives of people. He prayed for them to know and exercise His love for people. God’s love concentrates on discovering the needs of people and then on how to meet those needs. He then prayed for the people to be able to correctly decide what is really important in life. He continued by asking God to help them live lives that would cause people to be influenced toward the things that are right in life. He closed out the passage by asking God to lead them to opportunities to serve others.
When you have love, the ability to know what’s best for you, correct living, and opportunities to serve, you will get rid of trash talking. You will be so occupied with serving Jesus and meeting needs that you will not have the time to dwell on the ugliness of the world.
So, do you have this habit of praying in a positive way for people to become Jesus followers and for them to have positive things develop in their lives? If not, begin today. Think of the person that bugs you the most. Instead of doing negative, mental flips in your mind about the person, pray that the person will start having a different attitude and that the person will become a Jesus follower. If the person is already a Jesus follower, pray that he/she will get out of neutral and will move toward positive action for Jesus.
In closing, remember that Jesus expects us to talk to Him about the people that bug us in life. Powerful things will happen when we do.