Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice (Ephesians 4:31, NASB1995).
If a controlling people can’t control you, they will try to control what others think about you!
Slander, and its evil twin, gossip, are enlisted to help. Watch out for them!
During the most difficult period of my ministry, I observed one of my staff members constantly cozying up to differing elders.
One of elders told me, “Watch out for him. He is going around telling people that he is ready to help in any way possible. I don’t trust him. I think he wants your job.”
Have you observed someone you thought a friend whispering to others? You walk up to a conversation and there’s an awkward silence.
The Twins curse and then bless!
Slander and gossip use a technique of cursing and then blessing.
First, they get mad or make false statements. You react in guilt, “Did I do something wrong?” Perhaps you even ask forgiveness. But in your humility, you have given ground – yielded control or compromised what you know to be true.
Second, slander and gossip smile and accept you back with friendly gestures.
Until they throw a fit again (to which you capitulate) giving up more control. It’s a downward spiral.
Put up boundaries. Stand up for yourself.
Slander and Gossip are High Priests of Judgment!
These high priests don’t sacrifice for the sins of others; they specialize in sacrificing you for your sins. Unfortunately, I have lots of sins, so I encounter their judgment often.
They are high priests of a religion without mercy or grace.
As a senior pastor, every time that I made a mistake, the Twins showed up. Slander and gossip hold onto hidden bitterness and anger, just below the surface, waiting to be unleashed after your mistakes!
They are very opportunistic.
When things were good at the church, slander and gossip didn’t have traction. However, with problems, slander and gossip criticized every decision, wanted to hold meetings, and called their friends.
One final thing that I have learned.
Honestly, it’s easy for me to become friends with the Twins. In some ways, it’s easier to complain and point fault than work for peacemaking solutions.
I pray daily to know Grace and Mercy – better friends indeed.