1999-11-29 - Slander: Three Times a Killer
James 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, the world of iniquity.
Slander is an action that far to many of us engage in. It is a triple killer.
Slander does violence to the person who is slandered by perpetuating an ill
report of that person. Slander violates the person who has to listen to it
by allowing them to believe a lie about another. Slander contaminates the
person doing the slandering with the sin of disparagement.
The tongue of the slanderer dispenses poison so powerful that one drop can destroy. How wise the Psalmist was when he said, "I will guard my ways, that I may not sin with my tongue; I will guard my mouth as with a muzzle. While the wicked are in my presence." Psalm 39:1 In addition the writer of the Proverbs gives us wisdom regarding the tongue by saying, He who guards his mouth and his tongue, guards his soul from troubles." Proverbs 21:23
We cannot help when we are slandered. But we can resolve not to listen to slander and we can guard our hearts against becoming a slanderer. To tame the tongue is a great difficulty and there are likely to be times when we realize that we have spoken of someone in such a way that tears them down and builds us up. And that is what slander is. It is a way of making ourselves look better than we are by making someone else look worse than they truthfully are.
Slander is the result of several sins. We are either jealous of the person we slander and their good reputation, or we are angry with that person for their crystal image and we seek to shatter that perception of them. To slander is to murder a persons reputation, to covet their good name, and to lie about the truth of that person. It is therefore a violation of the sixth, ninth, and tenth commandments. Let us strive therefore to neither slander nor listen to slanderers.
Soli Deo Gloria,