"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. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."
Almost two years ago, I read a beautiful post on my friend Lysa's blog that impressed my heart deeply. Every day, sometimes several times a day, the Lord has brought this to my mind. He has used it to refine me, purify me, convict me and encourage me. I am so thankful.
Lysa wrote this post titled "Refusing to Gossip". In it, she shared this beautiful gift she received from her friend and executive assistant, Holly. I consider Holly a friend, too. She is a sweetheart (and a fellow Pennsylvania native!), and I know she is a treasure beyond words to Lysa. Here is a snippet from Lysa's post:
"One day Holly gave me a unique gift that made my heart feel forever safe with her. Though it wasn’t costly to her, it wound up being priceless to me. She committed to me that she would never say anything dishonoring about me ever. It was actually more than just a commitment to me, it was a covenant promise she’d made with God. I can’t even express what peace this brought to my heart. It’s not that I feared my other friends were gossiping about me. I did not. And I can’t say that my other friends wouldn’t make this same promise. They probably would. But Holly verbalized this commitment in a very bold way. A way that has defined our friendship and built a beautiful trust that is rare between women."
I just love how Holly "verbalized this commitment in a very bold way". While I believe God has given me some precious friends who would never dishonor me, I love how Holly verbalized that to Lysa. I have made the same covenant with the Lord as a gift for some precious friendships with which He has blessed me. My heart is thankful and reverent before Him for the friends He has given me. "...let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe..." Hebrews 12:28
Have you said something to dishonor a friend? Or have you dishonored a friend by NOT speaking up on their behalf when you could have? Has your body language (rolling eyes, etc.) dishonored a friend? Ask for forgiveness from that friend. Make a covenant before the Lord and verbalize it boldly to your friend(s). Your covenant before the Lord and priceless gift to your friend will build "a beautiful trust that is rare between women."
Daily the Lord uses Holly's beautiful expression of love, loyalty and friendship in my life. Daily. I am encouraged, challenged and convicted. Thank you, Holly! I pray HE blesses you to full and overflowing! Your obedience has touched my life in ways I'll never be able to express. Love you!
Lord, one of the purest ways I can honor You is by not dishonoring one of Your children.