We have all done this in our lives, spoken words that we wished we would not have. Words have power and can bring life and death, or more practically can bring encouragement or discouragement. When we speak of others by name we run the risk of speaking words that will slander a brother and such reckless words are dangerous to be spoken. Our Lord never spoke words without purpose, intent and leading from His Heavenly Father. We know Jesus never sinned in all he spoke. It would do for all us well to hold our tongues more and listen to others. Especially when we are in situations where have have hurts, emotions and displeasure. Anger can manifest in words that has their intent on revenge or punishment. Such words can cause slander, hurt and disregard to a servant of the Lord before other believers or publicly bring shame to God’s work. James exhorts believers to be slow to speak and in the original greek the meaning of that word is to be “stupid, or inactive in mind.” Essentially what is being said is do not think to respond to everything but accept what is being told you and do not be quick to respond in your own reasoning. This can be very helpful when we are in situations where we think we can fix the problem or have a disagreement with a fellow believer and just want to voice our opinion on the matter.
A.B. Simpson says, “I would rather play with forked lightning, or take in hand living wires with their fiery current, than speak a reckless word against any servant of Christ, or idly repeat the slanderous darts which thousands of Christians are hurling on others, to the hurt of their own souls and bodies.” James later in this later speaks this clear word to believers, “do not slander one another” (James 4:11). To James as an Overseer and worker in the Gospel he saw it as a red light to ever speak or repeat a careless word (Matthew 12:36) that would hurt another believer in the Lord. Repeating a slanderous report about another brother or sister in the Lord is just as worse as speaking it yourself. Moses spoke the people the law of the Lord by saying, “Do not spread false reports” (Exodus 23:1). It is very dangerous to simply repeat things we have heard and accusations when we fully do not know or understanding the truth behind the matter. This who have been hurt by someone in the body of Christ speak their hurts to others and accusations of the offender, but they can be blinded by their hurt to really see what was the true faults. There is sometimes truth in a slanderous statement but to achieve help for someone in the Church by slander will never work or bring healing. We all see in part and are blind to our own faults and errors. Be slow to speak of others, especially of their sins, but speak to the Lord often of your own.
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