P:12 “Trendy must-have” or “so last season”

I was half way through the first season of Pretty Little Liars when I caught on to the overall gist of the entire plot. I’m late to catch on, so I must admit this was a binge-watching session (after they were already on the 2nd season) and I had just watched a half-a-dozen or so episodes in a row. #helloNetflix #Guilty. Anyway. If they had just told the truth from the beginning the entire show would have ended with the pilot. Boring. I know. But instead, lies and drama were glamorized for show after show until its completion after 50+ episodes and seven seasons. But after watching just half of a season, I had had my fill.

Lying has always been struggle for me. I was never any good at it. I didn’t see point. Telling the truth always seemed to be the smarter option. So it’s how I’ve rolled my entire life and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

Here’s the deal, shows like PLL and Gossip Girl have an easy way of making gossip, slander and lies seem glamorous, trendy and a must-have accessory for the fashion-forward girl who wants to be known by all.

In truth, gossip and lies become a trap that ensnares the innocence of your soul and leads you down a dark and treacherous path. We know, because we see it unfold for girls like Aria and Spencer, then Serena and Blair. But we don’t really pay attention because we secretly love the dramatic webs they weave as friendships are destroyed and forbidden romance is kindled. We get caught up in the mysteries and the fantasy.

That is until it happens to us. And then it stings. It hurts deep as we’re stabbed in the back by the girl who said she was our friend. But that’s what reckless words do.

They are “cutting remarks meant to stab and hurt” (12:18a).

And then we are not so much interested in the drama or the romance, because now we’re the ones with the destroyed friendships and there’s no Hollywood beau to rescue us and get revenge.

In this age, we must be careful to not glorify things that if happened in real-time and real life we would oppose.

Gossip, slander and lies; these aren’t lighthearted and we’ve all been hurt by them, in some way, before. But the wise one, the good friend, “demonstrates discretion” (12:16). Their words “soothe and heal” (12:18).

You can always know the difference. The “fool is in love with its own opinion” while being wise “means being teachable” (12:15). “The fool has a short fuse and will immediately let you know when he’s offended” (12:16). Sounds a lot like the one who says whatever without the good sense of filtering it first. I’m sure you know a girl or two like that. I do, too.

Here’s the good news. “Honesty is its own defense” and “there is great satisfaction in speaking the truth” (12:14). “Truthful words will stand the test of time” while “every lie will be seen for what it is” (12:19)

It takes work. I get it; to remove yourself from gossip; to not lean in to a juicy conversation when we know it’s better to walk away, or better yet, say something to shut it down. But this hard work has a reward and will “bring blessings back to you” (12:14).

That’s far better than a loose-lipped friend who will be just as reckless with what you’ve shared with her as what she’s just shared with you. #foodforthought.

Let’s be a good friend. An honest friend. A friend that doesn’t spew gossip. A friend that doesn’t lower ourselves to the low blow of slander. A friend that refuses to lie, no matter how much the truth may cost us.

Girls, we will need our friends for our whole lives. But we need them even more right now while we’re single. So let’s honor our friendships and choose truth over lies, uplifting over gossip, and encouragement over slander. To our friends and to our enemies!

Our ability to steward our words with integrity and virtue will not only determine the quality of our friendships, it will eventually determine the strength of our one-day marriage and our man!

“The integrity and strength of a virtuous (strong, mighty, powerful, with substance, valiant, worthy) wife transforms her husband into an honored king, but the wife who disgraces her husband weakens the strength of his identity.” 12:4

In this with you girl, Shelley

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