Calling out the vile actions and results of evil speaking
It is a sad thing to say, but slander and gossip are easy. They are. Whether by spoken word or social media interaction, we are set up to say things, write things and imply things about others without recourse. For some reason we think it is okay to slam those we don’t like with twisted facts and partial truths. It is looked upon as cool or even clever to attack those whom we see as our opposition with innuendo and unverified stories! Wait a minute – we need to ask ourselves – do I consider myself to be a moral person? Am I a professed follower of Christ? Do I ever contribute to this mess by dishing it out OR receiving it? Let’s face it, any participation in this kind of slanderous and evil behavior is in no way and under no circumstances EVER justifiable for any Christian or moral person! How do we stop it?
Based on the actual meaning of the word, the kindest definition of "gossip" we could come up with is "hushed, idle and careless talk." Gossip is the creating or repeating of things that should not be said because they are not true, not the whole story or because they are no one else’s business. Gossip happens easily and sometimes unintentionally. In short, gossip is everywhere. Slander is more of a spoken-out-loud misrepresentation of someone with the intention of damaging that person’s character, reputation or record. It is much harder (though not impossible) to slander someone unintentionally. Like gossip, slander also seems to have taken up permanent residence in our daily lives.
The Bible is very blunt about these things and heartily condemns them at every turn. In the New Testament there are several lists of the worst kinds of behavior Christians should run from. We are warned that engaging in these things can keep us out of God’s kingdom! It is amazing to see the consistency with which both gossip and slander make appearances on these lists. The lesson here is obvious. We need reminding to avoid what is not only hurtful but easy to get involved with.
How can we be sure we are NOT engaging in gossip and slander?
There is no better way figure this out than to tell a true story. Check out our August 19, 2019 episode, “If I Slander and Gossip, What Does That Say about Me?” We tell the heart-wrenching story of a Christian woman who slandered someone. She describes the chaos and destruction she caused by speaking a few simple words. Her candid account shows the emotional havoc she brought upon others and herself. It reveals how close her life came to ruin. It reviews the many practical steps she necessarily took to learn why her words were so damaging and how to own what she said. Her story also brings us to the victory that came to her through prayer, study, humility and action. We are easy prey for gossip and slander. Don’t get caught by surprise!
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