Everyone likes a good story – unfortunately this often includes listening to juicy gossip and spreading it around.
While gossiping about another is sinful and wrong, slander takes it to a whole other level by spreading untrue information that can damage and destroy someone’s reputation.
And although God hates slander, it is one of Satan’s main weapons to cause division among believers – and the enemy may even be using you to throw the flaming arrows at others without you even realizing it.
But if you remain fervent in God’s Word and take these crucial steps, you can avoid being part of Satan’s plan to malign believers and disrupt the work of the saints.
Refuse to Entertain It
The first way to guard yourself against partaking in the enemy’s scheme to destroy Christ’s church is to rise above slander.
Refuse to be a person who even entertains gossip or slander.
If someone begins to spread false information to you (or even just gossip about another) – shut it down immediately.
Once people know you are not the type of person who will partake in spreading rumors or stories or jumping on the latest bandwagon to take down a leader who isn’t “theologically pure enough” (according to their standards) – eventually people will move on and stop coming to you.
But if they do come to you, encourage the slanderous person to bring their concerns directly to the person involved (Matthew 18).
Perhaps even call them out (lovingly) and challenge them to stop partaking in slander.
“A lying tongue hates its victims, and a flattering mouth works ruin.” Proverbs 26:28
Watch What You Post
Much of slander takes place online with people quick to hit “share” on the latest inflammatory headline.
But before you hit “share” or “send” in an e-mail, take a pause.
One of the first questions to ask yourself is, “Is this even true?”
Clearly, when a public figure or politician publicly states their love of anti-Biblical principles –like wanting to increase abortions or allow young boys to shower next to girls at school in the name of “inclusive transgender” policies – it is right and just for a Christian to speak up and proclaim God’s truth.
But often on social media we are quick to share an anonymous post – without even vetting the source.
Check your motive before you hit send or share.
“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Ephesians 4:31
What If You Are the One Slandered Against?
Your first instinct may be to defend yourself and “set the record straight,” seeking to win back the approval of those who have turned against you.
While at times it is right and just to clarify a mistruth – especially if you are a leader or it involves your ministry – make sure your motive is right.
The focus should always be on the truth – which will prevail in the end anyways.
It can be incredibly painful to have people spread false information about you, but take heart and know that God is just and He will fight your battles for you.
“Have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known” (Matt. 10:26).
Slander is hurtful and has destroyed the reputations of countless brothers and sisters.
If you are tempted to partake in it – remember the enemy loves division and works best when believers are divided.
Resist the urge and fight back against slander with God’s truth.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” – John 3:16-17
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