I was at a family gathering recently when my brother asked if I’d help him with a quick job. As we got busy, we chatted generally about the day; the nice, balmy weather and our plans for the evening.
Later, when we emerged downstairs, one of the guests said, ‘that sounded like fun. We heard you on the baby monitor’.
Whaaattt? The baby monitor was ON? Our conversation was being relayed to a living room of guests? I mentally rewound the chat in my head. Did I say anything I shouldn’t have? Did I say anything that could have been misinterpreted?
For the record, I don’t usually sit in rooms at parties and gossip about people present. But it IS easy, when we think we’re not being overheard, to pass a comment on proceedings or share honest thoughts that we definitely do not want others to hear. It’s not right, but if you’ve not done that, (and I’m pretty sure we all have) then I salute you.
But, what if we lived our lives as though there was always a ‘baby monitor’ in the room? What if we only said things about others, that we would be willing to say in their presence? What if we believed (and acted) as though every conversation was being overheard?
Truth is, every conversation is being overheard. But sometimes we forget that God is present in every discussion and overhears every last bit of gossip and praise that flows from our chatty lips.
Just like the baby monitor, blinking silently in the corner of the room, it’s easy to forget that everything we say and do is witnessed by a God who loves us, wants the best for us, but definitely doesn’t want us to be dishing up the dirt on other people.
For the record, I didn’t actually say anything unkind – it was a lovely occasion filled with lovely people. But what it it wasn’t? What if there were frustrations? What if I’d chosen to use a private moment to share some thoughts? Or say something, which if it was overheard, could have been very hurtful?
It was a sharp reminder to always let my words be seasoned with kindness and gentleness. To always speak as though someone else was listening.
Because someone always is.