Slandering. When I think of this word, I don’t ever associate it with something that happens on a daily basis. I tend to think this type of action or behavior comes about in the political arena, during election time. Generally, on the TV, we hear accusations from both parties, and then somehow, it all blows over.
In reality, this is something that happens daily-in work settings, where remarks made on the sly are a ploy to downgrade a coworkers performance to make it seem he/she did not get the promotion “by works alone.” The damage to the individual may not be seen by the co-conspirators, but make no mistake-it is there. Many times the victim’s reputation has been irreparably ruined, and their hard worked for status in the company tarnished by the jealous words of another. Generally, the root cause of this “bad mouthing,” is personal insecurity and made by individuals easily threatened in the often competitive work environment. Some people find it much easier to tear down another person, than to rise to the occasion themselves.
This behavior has been happening since biblical times. In 3 John 1:8-10, John wrote a brief letter to a man named Gaius, who was most likely a pastor or leader in the early church. His letter contains instructions on how to treat traveling missionaries and ministers who speak the truth-counseling him to “forward them on their journey in a manner worthy of God’s service.”
John also warns Gaius about a church leader named Diotrephes (v9) “..who likes to take lead among them and put himself first, who does not acknowledge my (John’s) authority and refuses to accept my suggestions or to listen to me. (v10) So when I arrive, I will call attention to what he is doing, his boiling over and casting malicious reflections upon us with insinuating language. And not satisfied with that, he refuses to receive and welcome the [missionary] brethren himself, and also interferes with and forbids those who would welcome them, and tries to expel (excommunicate) them from the church.”
John also reminds us (v11) “Beloved, do not imitate evil, but imate good. He who does evil has not seen (discerned or experienced) God [has enjoyed no vision of Him and does not know Him at all.]
In Psalm 15, Davis asks the Lord who will dwell in your tabernacle [temporarily], who shall [permanently] in Your holy hill. (v3) “He who does not slander with his tongue, nor does evil to his friend, nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor.”
Lest you think this type of behavior is solely in the past, or presently used by politicians, think about the last time you might have thought/said something detracting against another. Determine your motive, and examine your heart. Were you speaking out of envy or pain? Resorting to slander is evidence that your heart is not in line with God’s heart. God has made us promises, clearly spoken in Psalm 75:6-7.
“For not from the east nor from the west nor from the south come promotion and lifting up. (v7) But God is the judge! He puts down one and lifts up another.”
God will recognize your worth even when working in a team. There is no reason to resort to diminishing anothers light, so that yours might shine more brightly.
For those who trust in the Lord, there is no need for slander. He has already promised to avenge all transgressions against us, and right all wrongs. Why would we want to get in the way of the Lord’s work, risking sinning along the way?
The study guide author (Deborah Smith Pegues), wrote: “I find it interesting that the Greek word for “slander” is derived from diabolos, which means “devil.” Slandering is an illegal, diabolical act that God abhors. When we attempt to defame others with our denigrating words, we are sowing evil seeds for which we will surely reap the consequences. “He who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction” (Proverbs 13:2 NKJV).
Today’s Affirmation: I refuse to be a slander. I will use Philippians 4:8 as my conversation sifter. Therefore, whatever things are true, noble, just, pure, lovely and of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy about someone, I comment only on these things.”
Philippians 4:8 “For the rest brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and loveable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take into account of these things [fix your minds on them]. (ANT)