People used to call me Zorro because I could slash you with words and leave a mark to prove that I had done it. My words caused pain in the name of the truth, setting the record straight and getting someone told. I was not God fearing or holy. I wanted others to feel my wrath, and they did. I was a good Zorro, but I had to give up playing that part. The role hurt others and marred my reputation.
Even though I spoke the truth, I was wrong because my main intent was never to help but always to hurt; I wanted to expose others’ wrongs and make them feel bad while doing so. I never considered what I did as slander, but a close look at the Scriptures lets me know that’s what I was doing. The Hebrew word (Old Testament) for slander means whispering, defamation, evil report, and unfavorable saying, and the Greek word (New Testament) means to rail at, revile, speak reproachfully and to blaspheme. The New Testament phrase is often rendered “to be evil spoken of.” So slander could be lying or telling the truth. All lying about someone is slander. Lies, even well meaning ones, destroy integrity. The truth could be considered slander when you use truth to rail at or defame someone intentionally or unintentionally. The outcome of slander—whether done through lying or truth, intentionally or unintentionally, is always corruption. This is why Scripture warns us so many times to not slander and warns of the outcome (Exodus 20:16; 1 Tim. 3:8, 11; 2 Tim. 3:3; Titus 2:3). Simply put, if you slander just know that you
1) strengthen the works of evil doers (Exodus 23:1; Ezekiel 13:22);
2) associate yourself with Satan (John 8:44; Matt. 12:33, 7:17-18);
3) may endure God’s wrath (Psalm 101:7; Proverbs 19:5, 9; Malachi 3:5); and
4) reveal that you don’t (intimately) know God (Jeremiah 9:3-6).
“There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing” (Proverbs 12:18). Will you continue to let your tongue thrust like a sword to strengthen the works of evil doers, associate yourself with Satan, endure God’s wrath and remain ignorant of God or will you choose to be wise to heal with your words? The choice is yours.
Copyright 2009 by Rhonda J. Smith