One of the biggest problems I see in our culture is controlling what comes out of the hole under our nose. What we say about others says a lot about us. Unfortunately I have at times succumbed to the temptation of speaking evil of other people. And I am ashamed because it's not love and secondly I've heard it said that, "insignificant people talk about other people, great people talk about changing the world". I have been guilty of being insignificant.
We feel justified to talk bad about people especially when they have hurt us, or we've heard they have said bad things about us. It's normal to want to hurt them back with our words. But when we do speak evil of others we are being completely disobedient to the law of love. It's not a fruit of the spirit, it's actually a fruit of the flesh, it's what the Bible calls being "carnal" or living fleshly, which is selfish living. And we justify it a million ways; "well she hurt me," or "well he is saying bad things about me, so ..." or "well I want to the truth to be told ..." on and on the justifications fly on why we feel it is okay to live less than Christ-like and slander other people with our words.
Anytime we share something with someone that will give that person a negative view of that person we are sinning. And are living counter to the law of love. Even if what we are sharing is true. Now, it's a different thing if we are sharing something to protect someone from danger, i.e. telling a neighbor that a particular neighbor is on the Child-molesters list, etc. That's something totally different. Any smart person knows the difference.
I decided about 6 months ago that I was never going to speak evil of anyone ever again. And not allow anyone to speak evil about someone to me. First, it's wrong and I don't want any part of it and don't want to be around people who do it; secondly I have too many wonderful things to talk about then to waste time talking negative about others. And like my Grandma used to always say, "If you don't have anything good to say don't say it!" Wise words!
Let's start living significant lives!
James 4:11-12 "Don’t speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize and judge each other, then you are criticizing and judging God’s law. But your job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to you. God alone, who gave the law, is the Judge. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. So what right do you have to judge your neighbor?"
Galatians 5:14-15 "For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another."
Colosians 4:6 "Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person."
Luke 6:26-36 “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. Do to others as you would like them to do to you. "If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much! And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return. “Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.