Posted in Devotionals

If You Can’t Say Something Nice….

He who conceals hatred has lying lips, and he who spreads slander is a fool. Proverbs 10:18

The word slander in Hebrew is dibbâ and it means defaming, evil report, infamy or slander.

Defamation of Character is something God does not like at all. To defame a person means to harm their reputation, give unfavorable impressions of them, or expose them to public contempt. You are actually destroying whatever good reputation they might have and making them look bad in the eyes of others.

But something many don’t see is that when you speak ill of others you are actually destroying your own reputation and moral standing at the same time, not only with people, but most importantly with God. You don’t need to bring down others in order to build yourself up; you don’t need to destroy another person to teach the truth of God’s word. You can teach the word of God in truth without bringing others into it at all.

When you defame others you reflect hatred rather than the love of God. God is all about loving each other. Love your neighbor as yourself and love your enemy (Matthew 5:44; Matthew 22:39). This is the basic teaching of the Ten Commandments and what Christ came to teach – LOVE.

When you speak against others it also means you have judged the other person.

You cannot judge what you do not understand; you can only discern what is right and wrong based on your knowledge level of understanding of what the word of God means.

Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye,” and behold the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:1-5

Notice in the second sentence it says “by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.” It does not say God’s standard, it says YOUR standard. I myself would rather be judged by God’s standard because His standard says you are forgiven and loved. When you judge another you say they are rejected and hated, they are wrong and you are right. Who knows what God’s plan is except for God?

A good example of what Jesus was speaking about is in the story of Joseph, in the book of Genesis. Joseph’s brothers had done evil to him, wanting to get rid of him because of their jealousy. Many people only see the bad that was done to Joseph, but what most don’t see is that God planned the steps Joseph’s brothers did so that Joseph would be placed where God needed him to be and when he needed to be there in order to save many lives. And what did Joseph say to his brothers when they begged him for forgiveness. He said, “Do not be afraid, for am I in God’s place? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.” (Genesis 50:19-20)

Man would say, those men should be imprisoned for eternity, put to death, punished in some way for what they did. God says, I had it all planned and they are forgiven. Joseph recognized God had a purpose, just as God has a purpose for every decision we make, whether it be for good or for evil.

Now let’s look at the part of the verse that says “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”

What in the world could that log be? The log would be anything that is not a reflection of the love of God.

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Does not take into account a wrong suffered is an interesting part to this. The word wrong is Kakos (kak-os) and it means of bad nature, not such as it ought to be, a mode of thinking, feeling, wrong, wicked, troublesome, injurious, pernicious (highly injurious or dangerous), destructive, baneful.

This could cover so many areas of our lives. We join groups and leave because something that happens to cause a disagreement in opinion and then that whole group becomes bad because we now have a grudge against it. We make a friend and have a falling out because there is a misunderstanding and we never learn to forgive each other. We have a job working with a horrible boss and are mad and frustrated at the way they treat us and have hatred for them… and on and on. But the scripture that talks about the log is talking specifically about your brother.

Your brother is anyone who believes in Christ as the Messiah. Doesn’t mean they have to belong to your church, or even your denomination, it just means they have to believe in salvation through Jesus Christ.

Disagreements in doctrine are the bane of Christianity. It causes division, quarrels, disputes, hatred and ultimately hypocrisy. It also causes people to slander each other and bring each other down; it makes the worst of people show rather than the best.

Defaming others in order to prove one’s self only shows a littleness of faith and a lack of love and understanding. A person who does this has yet to be shown the true mystery, and will not be shown it unless they can get that log out of their eye in order to see clearly.

Take a look at what standard you are using to see things. You cannot see it from God’s view, but if you ask Him what is good and right, I know He will say to leave it in His hands and go do the work he has called you to – Feed and nurture your flock with divine understanding. Move on toward the prize. Allow him to take the log from your eye so you may see clearly.



A simple child of God trying to make life easier for everyone to enjoy

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