I find it so difficult to control my tongue. It is very easy to join the gossip-fest or to add fuel to the fire of conversations that should not have taken place to begin with.
Unfortunately, this all-too-prevalent vice is an easy snare for many of uspartly because it is so prevalent. I know that I am likely to say disparaging things about people who I think are doing the same thing against me. It's almost like the opposite of the Golden Rule: Do unto others because they're doing unto you."
In my devotions today I read chapter four of The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis. I am including it in its entirety here because it is so wise and so needed:
Prudence in Action
DO NOT yield to every impulse and suggestion but consider things carefully and patiently in the light of God’s will. For very often, sad to say, we are so weak that we believe and speak evil of others rather than good. Perfect men, however, do not readily believe every talebearer, because they know that human frailty is prone to evil and is likely to appear in speech.
Not to act rashly or to cling obstinately to one’s opinion, not to believe everything people say or to spread abroad the gossip one has heard, is great wisdom.
Take counsel with a wise and conscientious man. Seek the advice of your betters in preference to following your own inclinations.
A good life makes a man wise according to God and gives him experience in many things, for the more humble he is and the more subject to God, the wiser and the more at peace he will be in all things.