Twelve Steps To Heaven (Part 4)
Step #4: Don't Slander
Lord, who may abide in Your Tabernacle?
Who may dwell in Your Holy Hill?
He who walks uprightly,
And works righteousness,
And speaks the truth in his heart;
He who does not backbite with his tongue...
Psalm 15:1-3 (NKJV)
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God--having a form of godliness but denying its power... always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.
2 Timothy 3:1-7 (NIV)
But when I stumbled, they gathered in glee; assailants gathered against me without my knowledge. They slandered me without ceasing.
Psalm 35:15 (NIV)
Slander is a pandemic disease of the 21st century. Internet anonymity has nurtured millions of big-mouthed monsters: Goliaths without a name, face or body--invisible bullies hurling punch after punch. Victims suffer devastating wounds. Children, adults and even businesses are brought to their knees. Many die.
The ruination of reputation has become modern man's blood sport. Suspicious spectators enjoy the games: the witness of persecution: 'Did you see the blog about... ? It's terrible. I wonder if it's true. Maybe it is. I doubted him/her/them all along... We need to spread the news.'
In the Apostle Paul's letter to Timothy (2 Timothy 3:1-7 printed above), he describes the last days. Those last days are here.
Actors, models and talent for Christ, don't slander, don't gossip and don't spread evil. 'Rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips' (Colossians 3:8). Instead, become a generation of Davids.
He was slandered by his brothers, by Goliath, by his king, by his wife, by his friends, by his family and by his enemies. 'When I stumbled, they gathered in glee; assailants gathered against me without my knowledge. They slandered me without ceasing' (Psalm 35:15).* Nevertheless, David did not slander back.
Instead, He remained loyal to his king, forgave his enemies and trusted God to defend him. Slander is the way of the world--and not the way to Heaven. When you are tempted to speak negative words about anyone, stop. Repeat after David: 'Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips' (Psalm 141:3).
To Be Continued...
* Read Psalm 35 to see the extent of David's persecution by the mouths of others: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=psalm%2035&version=NIV
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Twelve Steps To Heaven series.