Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
This passage of scripture sets the gold standard for our interaction and communication with each other. The principle is very simple; if something is defamatory or derogatory, and does not edify, then we should refrain from saying or even listening to it. It's that simple! In our day many television shows dwell on gossip and slander, and many others thrive on exposing the faults, errors and weaknesses of others. Husbands and wives, neighbors and family members can be seen on Judge Judy and Jerry Springer, ripping each other apart, and exposing to the world, the shortcomings and failures of each other, and the audiences gladly gobble up the vitriol with intense interest.
There's a valid reason why the Biblical principles God has given us to live by, stand in stark contrast to the methods and principles which run rampant in the secular realm. God's method of dealing with the faults, errors and sins of the human family, is based solely on love, and is conducted in uprightness and truth, with the person's best temporal and eternal interest in mind. That's why He gave us specific instruction as to how we should deal with each other when our "rights" are offended and our feelings hurt. Let's read:
Matthew 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
The Bible in no way encourages us to go to the news media, or any television show to expose the errors of another person. When problems arise between us, they should be dealt with and resolved in as quiet and private a manner as possible, always avoiding the sin of character assassination by word or deed. Gossip, slander, vitriol, and accusation all have their roots in the father of lies, satan himself, for these are the products of his kingdom and these are the issues he delights to dwell upon. This according to the Bible. Let's read:
Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
On the contrary, the scriptures teach us to edify and build up, not to tear down or malign. In all of our interaction with others, whether they be husbands, wives, children, co-workers neighbors or politicians, a uniform grace and courtesy should characterize our conversations and demeanor, taking care not to wound, retaliate or disparage in any way, fellow members of the human family, for we are all God's children by creation and redemption. Let's read:
Colossians 4:6 Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
Romans 12:14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. 15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. 17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. 18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
It becomes very obvious that the principles of the secular world are diabolically opposed to the principles of God's kingdom, and therefore we are encouraged to adopt and espouse, God's ways and methods which are founded on love. In our lives there may be much soul-searching to do, much change to be wrought, and different approaches to adopt for the resolution of difficulties that arise within the sphere of our influence. God is willing and able to impart the necessary power and grace so that in all that we say or do, the character of Jesus Christ will shine forth radiantly. We therefore end with a passage of scripture that should serve to encourage us to make the necessary changes by the grace of God. Let's read:
Proverbs 25:8 Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame. 9 Debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself; and discover not a secret to another: 10 Lest he that heareth it put thee to shame, and thine infamy turn not away. 11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
May God grant us His grace that the principles of His kingdom may be implemented on a daily basis for the rest of our lives. God bless!