I struggled to reign in my tongue for years, wanting to be kinder with my speech, but not as much as I wanted to fit in. Then a wise priest gave me James 3 as penance after I confessed my struggles with gossip. Reading that 'We bless the Lord and Father, and curse human beings who are made in the likeness of God' (James 3:9), I was struck that my worship and honor of God was only as authentic as the honor I gave those created in His image. Basically, every comment I made about God's creation was the ugly footnote to my words of worship.
Resolving to be kind to others is difficult, because humans can annoy and hurt us. If you struggle with gossip or unkind speech, don't act based on what you think others deserve, act based on what God deserves. In the end, it wasn't kindness that helped me reign in my tongue as much as my desire to worship God authentically, realizing the power of words, and the reality of the community St. Paul describes in Ephesians 4:25 when he states, 'Speak the truth, each one to his neighbor, for we are members of one another.' Worship the Lord in truth by honoring those He created.”
An excerpt of an article by Alison Blanchet at the blog at www.lifeteen.org