A woman went to the village priest with a troubled conscience. She said, "I have circulated a nasty story about a friend only to find the story is not true. What shall I do to make good the awful deed?
"If you would make peace with your conscience you must fill a bag with goose down, go to every door in the village and drop one fluffy down," replied the priest. The woman did as she was told. Then she came back to the priest and said she had done her penance for her folly.
"Not yet," replied the priest. "Take the bag and go the rounds again and gather every feather that you have dropped."
"But the wind will have blown them all away," she protested, "they will be picked up by little children, trodden under foot of man, I'll never get them all back!"
"Yes, and so it is with your vile words. Words and the goose down are quickly dropped, but try as hard as you will, you can never get them all back again."
"If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless." (James 1:26, NLT)