Wholesome Speech

Leviticus 19:11–18; 2 Corinthians 12:19–21; 1 Peter 2:1–5 (read online ⧉)

Slander is one of the biggest things that divide people whether it be in families, churches, the internet, the world. Slander can be small things, it can be large things. The reality is that it often hurts the innocent and the guilty the same. Slander and gossip can be very destructive. However, while we often focus on the person who is being slandered or gossiped about, we often miss the larger picture.

Let’s take any leader. If you d them slandering or gossiping about someone else, it should make you pause. If they are willing to say that about a person who isn’t present, what are they saying about you when you are not present? Slander and gossip can undermine leadership, discipleship, , and most of all love.

This does not mean that we cannot vent or share our struggles or feelings regarding another person. That can be bad, too. What we share about others needs to be considered carefully. Often we don’t carefully and prayerfully consider what we say about others. It is when we re with our s that the greatest damage can occur. In our anger or , we often attribute chareristics to others that are more a reflection of our feelings than the other person.

In f, there is no simple way to do any of this. Human s are often a struggle. While we struggle to relate to one another, we are hurt by one another, and hurt one another. Some of the s we experience and have yet to identify or process will come out in ways we do not understand or anticipate. Celebrate Recovery (a 12-step Christian recovery program) has a great and very useful saying for when we deal with other people:

“Hurt people, hurt people.”

It is simple. If we think about it, though, we can see the truth in it. Humankind has fallen from ’s intent. Out of our , and as a consequence of the s of others, we hurt that which bears ’s image…each other.

Prayer

Father , you show such grace, mercy, and patience with us your wayward children. Thank you for the of , giving us a way to overcome our frailties that does not depend on us. Holy Spirit, and heal us into a Christlike image that seeks to restore and heal others and ourselves. Amen.

Questions

1) Can you think of a time when you believe someone slandered you or gossiped about you? What was that like?

2) What is wholesome ? What should the chareristics of wholesome be? What should the end results of wholesome be?

3) How do you heal s torn apart by gossip or slander?

Pastor Ian

By Pastor Ian

Ian is an ordained Elder in The Church of the Nazarene, and is currently serving as the Online Campus Pastor at Generations Community Church in Marysville, WA, USA.