There is a children’s song that we used to sing in Sunday school that says, "Be careful little eyes what you see and be careful little ears what you hear," and it goes on to say "be careful little mouth what you say,"
This advice is not only good for children but also for adults as well. One of the 10 Commandments reminds us that what we say matters a lot. The ninth commandment says, "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor," and Proverbs 6:16 and19 tell us that the Lord hates lying false witnesses.
Why does the Bible brings this issue up a lot? Because false words against another person can be so damaging. Reputations have been destroyed, innocent people have gone to prison, people have had to move away from their communities, relationships have been broken, just because someone told a lie.
Gossip is one of the most destructive sins there is and social media makes it so easy to spread. E-mails, Twitter, Facebook, Instagrams and blogs make it so quick and so widespread; by the end of one day a person can be trashed worldwide.
The scripture also teaches us that our words can be used for good. Proverbs 18:21 says, "The tongue has the power of life and death."
Rather than using our mouths to bring down someone we can rather lift them up. Instead of our words being hurtful, they can be helpful. If we look deep enough we can find good things to talk about in most people.
This kind of reminds me of a joke I heard: There was an organized crime family who had one of it’s members pass away. One of the brothers asked a local pastor to do the funeral but he said "you had better say something nice about my brother or else you know what’s coming to you." The pastor couldn’t think of anything good to say until it finally came to him. In the funeral message he said, "This man who lays before us was a crook, a pimp, a money launderer, a murderer and a whole lot of more things, but compared to his brother sitting here on the front row, he was a saint."
For most people, good things about them are not that hard to find.