PC Alisha Mullett
Slander and gossip is nothing short of abusive. That’s right. I AM saying that. And not only do I believe it, but I’ve also witnessed this devastating abuse and the vicious attacks. But the most alarming thing is that professing Christians are often a part of the war.
What is gossip and slander? Gossip is when we’re in any way involved in spreading something negative about someone. When we hear a rumor about someone and we repeat it, we are gossiping. Unfortunately, there have been times I’ve been guilty of gossip. We probably all have. But when was the last time we considered what God’s word has to say about it? James 1:26 says, “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.” Our religion is worthless? Wow. It sounds like God really hates gossip.
In my opinion, slander is even worse and more destructive. Slander is cold-blooded, mud-slinging and vicious defamation with the intent to destroy.
The ruthless plan to hit someone where it really hurts. An example of slander is when belittling and derogative words are used to cut someone at the core. Slander can involve cruel, disrespectful or brutal attacks on someone’s character. This assault can also be directed towards those closest to you.
I believe gossip and slander are some of the most common sins among Christians. Social media is one of the greatest tools used in this merciless bashing. And, unfortunately, the war is on. There is a vast difference between speaking truth to expose false teaching, and slandering. (And we need to remember we will never find anyone without flaws in their teaching, because there are no perfect, flawless individuals.) However, slander is much more personal.
Slander is often committed towards someone who doesn’t feel exactly the same way we do in an area. This is so wrong! During all our debating while trying to prove them wrong, we end up falling into sin ourselves. We may not be liberal minded unbelievers, but we often demonstrate the same liberal backstabbing.
Slander is personally attacking an individual, ministry, or organization. It disregards the good and heartlessly focuses on the bad. Slander also involves leaving out certain parts of the story to make others look as bad as possible, or it may involve adding false information, or twisting what the other person actually meant. Gossip and slander passes judgment on someone without personally being involved or knowing what is absolutely true. Remember, there are always two sides of every story.
Unfortunately, we’ve seen individuals, churches and even large ministries destroyed because of slanderous “Christians.” Satan doesn’t have to destroy churches in America through persecution, when he can destroy them from within. In God’s word, He commands us to “…put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.” (1 Pet. 2:1)
One of the most slanderous sins to commit is accusing an innocent person of sexual misconduct. And this happens more than you probably know. We’ve talked with innocent men who are still dealing with ongoing repercussions of slander, even though their accuser came back and apologized. One man in particular was accused of sexual abuse. But it wasn’t true. Tears rolled as he shared how his reputation is still ruined even after the person who made the false accusations admitted it wasn’t true.
Someone’s reputation, ministry, future and relationships can be completely destroyed because of one person’s hateful, slanderous attacks. We’ve seen it.
Whenever your motive is to destroy an individual, family, church, organization or ministry, you are influenced by a malicious, evil spirit. But let’s take this even further. If you secretly rejoice when an individual or ministry is destroyed, you are also being influenced by a malicious, evil spirit. Let’s get this straight. I’m not talking about taking down a horrible pedophile ring or something like that. I’m talking about professing Christians and ministries who are helping others, yet haven’t handled everything perfectly. (Do any of us?) My friend, gossip and slander is destructive. Not only to those you’re slandering, but also to yourself.
Never take something as the gospel truth without knowing the other person’s story. And if you’re not personally involved, don’t spread anything. When you are guilty of slander, you are assaulting a person’s character, reputation and relationships. You are maliciously destroying his or her life. Think about it. How is this type of abuse much different than sexual abuse? Both can be completely destructive.
So why are so many of God’s children exemplifying these slanderous attitudes? Because they’re walking in the flesh. Responding with what comes naturally. But doesn’t God call His children to a higher standard? Could this be why our light’s have gone dim?
Have you, in any way, been a part of gossip and slander? If so, recognize it as sin. Repent and turn away from it. And apologize to those who’ve been hurt by it. Being a Christian means living out God’s way. And this doesn’t involve having a slanderous tongue.
~Cindy (For The Mullett Family)