One final comment (at least for today) about the power of words and the importance of using them in uplifting, encouraging, and positive ways. Yesterday I was flipping through a book of devotionals entitled Day by Day with Billy Graham, and when I read the one for September 17, I knew I HAD to share it.

Dr. Graham tells a story of a woman in England to came to her vicar with a troubled conscience. A habitual gossip who had maligned nearly everyone in the village, she now wanted to make amends. The vicar advised her to take a bag of goose feathers and drop one on the porch of each person she had slandered. The woman did as told and then came back to the vicar and asked, “Is that all?” “No,” he told her, “You must go now and gather up every feather and bring them all back to me.” Unfortunately, this proved to be an impossible task because the wind had blown all of the feathers away.

“My good woman,” said the vicar, “so it is with gossip. Unkind words are easily dropped, but we can never take them back again.” Good story, huh? By the way, the scripture that Dr. Graham paired with this story is James 3:5 (TLB): “The tongue is a small thing but what enormous damiage it can do…”