Beware of Slandering Your Brother

Avoid being guilty of slander by thinking through these situations and Scriptures. #BibleLoveNotes #Bible

Recently, a pastor decided to publicly proclaim that another Christian ministry was “heretical” because they used a Bible translation that he didn’t like.

The adult daughter of a Christian Bible college professor accused her father of sexual abuse. Many years later, his daughter recanted the story, admitting it wasn’t true. 

A family was torn apart because a non-Christian family member spread lies about a Christian family member.

If a Bible teacher, fellow Christian, or family member accuses another person of something, do you check it out?

If we pass along slander without knowing that it's absolutely true, we’re as guilty as the one who told the lie.

“Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.” James 4:11

The stories above are all true, and there are many more like them.

When you have a chance, read through these verses below and ask God if you've believed something without checking it out. At the bottom, you'll find a list of other 1-minute devotions related to this subject. Please don't take the message of James 4:11 too far. There are appropriate and inappropriate types of judgment. See How, Who, and What to Judge According to Scripture.

Avoid being guilty of slander by thinking through these situations and Scriptures. #BibleLoveNotes #Bible
Exodus 23:1: "Do not spread false reports. Do not help a guilty person by being a malicious witness."

Proverbs 11:9: "With their mouths the godless destroy their neighbors, but through knowledge the righteous escape."

Proverbs 16:28: "A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends."

Proverbs 18:8: "The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts."

Proverbs 18:21: "The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences."

(Proverbs 18:21 has been greatly misused by some Christians. Please read: The Power and Limit of Words.)

Proverbs 20:19: "A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much."

Ephesians 4:29: "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."

Related 1-minute devotions:
How to Check out Christian Teachers
If You Can't Say Anything Nice, Do What Your Mother Said
Our Words Matter - 26 Scriptures
Discernment or Slander?

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  1. My husband is a pastor and we are very careful about the information we've been told. If it comes directly from the person involved, it stays with us unless they tell us to share it, etc. If someone says to us "did you hear . . . . " the information is not repeated and considered untrue unless confirmed by the individual it's about. We have been told more than once, someone has died, when they hadn't. It wasn't told to us maliciously, but when stories are passed around, information is misunderstood, and gets told incorrectly.

    I think the biggest problem related to this topic and Christians, is prayer. Information is passed or told so others can "pray", but do they really? Or are they passing it to someone else just to gossip.

    I have had untrue things said about me as has my husband. It's painful. When harmful things are said on social media about someone or inferred about someone, I liken it to shaking the insides of a feather pillow outside. Once it's out there, it's out there. No matter how hard you try, you can never get all the feathers back. Just like information. It spreads on social media faster than a wildfire on a windy day.

    Can you tell I'm passionate about this subject? Thanks for writing about it Gail.

    1. Thanks so much for those additional insights, Abby. I'm sure this is a huge thing for a pastor and his wife who counsel and oversea a flock.

      I've been hearing so much about slander lately.

      God bless you as you minister.