I have a great knack for alienating people, and losing friends because I think they are talking about me. Are they gossiping about me? I have no idea. But that doesn't even matter, because I have already made up things that they are possibly saying behind my back.
My simple solution: don't do it.
James 3, 8-10 reads, "but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so."
"The tongue should teach us to speak well of, and kindly to, all who bear his image."About this passage, Matthew Henry writes, "If we bless God as our Father, it should teach us to speak well of, and kindly to, all who bear his image. That tongue which addresses with reverence the divine Being cannot, without the greatest inconsistency, turn upon fellow-creatures with reviling brawling language. It is said of the seraphim that praise God, they dare not bring a railing accusation. And for men to reproach those who have not only the image of God in their natural faculties, but are renewed after the image of God by the grace of the gospel: this is a most shameful contradiction to all their pretensions of honouring the great Original."
So really, this post is written more as a letter to myself, telling me to praise the Lord and speak kindly of all others (myself included). If you are in a similar place, then I encourage you to spend more time in Scripture and in prayer, building your faith, and desiring nothing more than to honour God in all that you think, say, and do. Because that is precisely what I am challenging myself to do, too.