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I need a diet adjustment

There are still a few of those 'high end' candy shops in the local malls that deliver all the delight of a richly made confection. For years, mom's favorite chocolate has been See's chocolate. She would always delight in getting the nuts and chews variety, although she doesn't do well with the nuts anymore, so she has 'converted' to the chews! If you have ever experienced the chocolates from a high end confectioner's establishment, you know this is good chocolate and the caramels are rich, as well. . It is not like buying a pre-wrapped candy bar at the grocery store. I really am not a connoisseur of chocolate - a plain chocolate bar from the grocer is fine for me! Yet, it really does not compare to the richness of the "finer" chocolates you find at the store in the mall. Some words we speak or hear are kind of like the pre-wrapped bar of chocolate - some go down easy, but they lack the "smoothness and taste" of the wise!

Listening to gossip is like eating cheap candy; do you really want junk like that in your belly? (Proverbs 18:8)

Idle talk and rumor are kind of like the grocery store bought chocolate - tastes good at first, but when you experience something more "gracious" or "pleasing" to the taste, you realize just how far short they fall! The one who engages in the consumption of gossip often finds they are never truly satisfied with what they take in - there is a drive for more - cheap words that don't fulfill at all. I know one equally sized store-bought mini chocolate bar does not satisfy as much as one finely crafted chocolate from high end chocolate store. Why? The fact may be as simple as the less costly one is designed to get you to eat more! This is also the case with idle talk and rumor - those words are just put out there to entice you to demand more!

When you explore the meaning of the word "gossip", you may be surprised to discover it also includes the kind of familiar "chit-chat" we all engage in from time to time. It is "light talk" - an exchange of information that no one really considers to be wrong to exchange - it isn't really 'all that bad', but it doesn't serve much of a positive purpose either. We often engage in an exchange of words without considering the impact of the content being shared! We may not even set out to share anything in a malicious, secretive manner, but in the "light talk" we share stuff someone maybe should never hear about another!

The scripture points us repeatedly toward "considering well" the words we choose. As a writer, I often "strike" the words I originally put into printed format before publishing them for public view. The "word-smithing" of an idea is at my disposal at the computer keyboard - it is editable. I have the "editing" capability when it is the written word - penned or typed. Too bad I don't also have this "editing" capability on my spoken words!!! Before we even realize it, words are spoken which we may have done well to have exercised some type of "editing" function over prior to speaking them! It's true, isn't it? We need an "editing" filter over our mouths! I have taken to learning how to carve words into wood of late and let me tell you, it is a little like those words we speak without much thought - one wrong move of my chisel or router and it is there forever!

Just as the grocery store candy seldom satisfies, idle chit-chat seldom truly satisfies either. There is always a tendency to "get into somebody's business" if the conversation continues long enough - not usually yours, but someone else's. The sharing often leaves us feeling "bad" inside. It is what scripture refers to as "junk" in the belly! We are "consumers" of words - both written and spoken. Not all carry the same satisfying effect, do they? Some are definitely designed to get us to "consume" even more - like a juicy tidbit of gossip. Others are spoken only once, yet their consumption brings deep, meaningful satisfaction to the soul. These are "wisdom words". A steady diet of these makes one more satisfied than hours of "junk words". We can learn much from what we consume. The old saying, "You are what you eat", is definitely right on the mark as it pertains to our 'word intake', is it not? Maybe it is time for a little change in our "diet". Just sayin!

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