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Sarah
Welcome, friend! Relax & rest awhile, if you please. I'm an ordinary girl, a follower of Christ, mama to Gabriel, & wife to Evan. Here in this little space of the online world, I share all manner of bookish things, including full content reviews, writerly snippets, encouragement for everyday life, and a whole collection of names & their meanings.

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Be ENCOURAGED // He Said, She Said


SLANDER.
*wince*  We are ALL guilty of this.  It's as simple as a "he said, she said" statement.  But if the subject of this statement were in the room, would you actually be saying such a thing to his or her face?  If not, it is SLANDER.  And the best thing to do would be to say nothing at all.


I would say for some people, slander is unintentional.  For example, it could be in a prayer request, a bits of news shared between confidants (which can be defined as gossip), or an opinion given in answer to someone's question.  If we ourselves do not know the full truth of something, it is not good to give our personal opinion.


"Let no unwholesome [corrupted] talk proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear."
- Ephesians 4:29 (NASB) -

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In Nancy D. Wolgemuth's book, Adorned, she gives four statements explaining the answer (p. 114-116):

Slander can involve giving a false report.  [1
Slander can involve the spreading of harmful information.  [2
Slander can include the reporting of truth with harmful content.  [3
Slander is not the same as gossip, but gossip makes slander easier.  [4

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I was guilty of slandering someone this past week.  And certainly not to their face.  And not while in the process of hearing news about them and then giving my opinion.  Nope.  It wasn't until I read this chapter in Nancy's book that I realized, "Wow.  I believe I just did that."  Because if that particular person had been there with me at the time, I wouldn't have said to my sister the simple statement of not being surprised by that person's actions (noted, with a kind of snobby attitude).  Even though I've not had contact with that person in YEARS, slander is still slander, just as gossip is gossip, and a lie is a lie.

"We are stewards of the treasure of each other's good names.  Let us seek to silence the. . .slanderer within & graciously give and receive others' help when one of us slips, perhaps unaware, into slander."
- Jon Bloom -

Slander affects not only those around us, but our own character as well.


"Do not speak against one another. . ."
- James 4:11 -

In this passage, the phrase "speak against" can be defined as "thoughtless words."  My MacArthur study Bible explains it this way: "[It] means to slander or defame.  James does not forbid confronting those in sin, which is elsewhere commanded in Scripture.  Rather, he condemns careless, derogatory, critical, slanderous accusations against others. . ."

Slander hurts.  And so does gossip.  But what exactly is the difference between the two?

GOSSIP noun
"casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true"

SLANDER noun
"the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person's reputation."

To summarize, GOSSIP spreads rumors about a person(s), which can certainly be harmful to them.  SLANDER is knowingly giving false statements with intent to harm.  But GOSSIP can so very easily become SLANDER, which can cause serious damage to the person(s), to character & relationships, and to reputations.  Slander is Gossip leveled up.

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This all leads back to sound doctrine & reverence!

"Sound doctrine in a woman's life produces reverence for God.  And that reverence shows itself in a careful use of her tongue and in a temperate lifestyle."
- Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, Adorned -

I do not know about you, but I want to be that woman.  I wish to be known for my humility & kindness, for the encouragement I give to others, and for my uplifting words.

Don't be a He-Said-She-Said kinda girl. 
Be ENCOURAGEMENT!

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What about you?  Have you unknowingly slandered someone recently?  If so, asking forgiveness is certainly in order.  It could be sent as a simple text, though face to face has more absolute meaning to be sure.  It could be in praying for the person or persons, where really you would rather just ask God to forgive you & not worry at all about them.  

But in His eyes that wouldn't be right.  He asks us to go the extra mile.

I must constantly ask God to remind me to be in prayer for certain things.  This is one of them!  He will use his Spirit to remind you, however subtly, to watch your words AND your thoughts.  It's simply up to us whether or not we say them aloud.

Comments

  1. Oh, girl, this spoke to me HARD. I, um, do not always speak about people the way I should, and so often am not the encouraging, positive one in a group. It's something I think about a lot, and something I really need to work harder on.

    I love this post and the simple, powerful way you said it. I needed this! Thank you so much for sharing. <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same, girl! We all have our faults. I don't often say it aloud, but I do struggle with it being my thoughts.

      Thank you! So glad it blessed you. If you need an accountability partner with this type of thing, you know where to find me. ;D <3

      Delete
  2. Great post, sweet daughter!
    A good reminder!
    Mom :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great post, Sari. (Love the Thumper GIF! ;D) It can be so easy/ tempting to speak ill of others. I appreciate the reminder to be an encouragement; we can ALL use more of that. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, girlie! (haha I thought it fitting ;D) Indeed, it can. So do I---I need these kind of reminders EVERY DAY.

      Delete

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To each is given a bag of tools,
A shapeless mass, and a book of rules,
And each must make, ere life is flown,
A stumbling block or a stepping stone.
-Anonymous-

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