I’ll never forget the time in high school when an unbelievable rumor went around about me. A very convincing and dramatic “friend” was upset by something I had done that indirectly affected her. Oh man, I may as well bought everyone in the high school (I lived in a small town) a tub of popcorn and a soda pop so they could watch the shock waves of drama that ensued as a result. By the time it was over, I wasn’t even involved anymore.
Honestly…is it just high school? Or is it one of those timeless sins that has become acceptable in the name of sharing our injuries or becoming a prayer request?
If we, as Christians, were completely honest, do we enjoy or glob onto a juicy story? Or more innocently, choose to believe half truths or seemingly reasonable & justifiable lies?
I can’t answer this question for you, but after examining myself and thinking through it, I would say I don’t exactly enjoy it, but I’ve been involved in it and taken satisfaction in it. I’ve believed things I’ve heard without knowing all the facts. Sometimes I’ve even chosen to believe it to make me feel better about myself. Because of what’s been shared, I am justified for my own poor behavior.
I’ve thought about this on and off in my Christian life, and even more soberly upon recent occasion when some rumors were spread around about someone I dearly love. Then this morning, my pastor read a verse I’ve written and spoken to others on, hitting me in a fresh new way, convicting me:
” You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world. But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander & dirty language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature & all its wicked deeds. Put on your new nature & be renewed as you learn to know your Creator & become like Him.” (Read Colossians 3 in its entirety).
My goodness, friends. Slander is right up there with anger, rage, malicious behavior, dirty language and lies. Actually, slander is a lie about someone else, usually based in some sort of reality or truth. What I realized as I prayed through this situation with a loved one is that she hadn’t been completely above reproach. She had made some unwise choices which gave others the reason to doubt her behavior. Even though her motives and actions weren’t overtly sinful, they gave others a reason to question her.
And then I was right back at high school. In my own situation. And I had made some foolish decisions which lacked discernment and wisdom and maturity. So others took the appearances and gave wings to my actions, believing what they wanted to fit their perspective.
Wait, that’s not just back then, it’s happening right now. More times than I can count, I believe things about other people that I don’t even know to be fact. It isn’t slander, it’s simply everyday banter. Believe what you wish. Believe what fits your truth, your reality, your lie…
Let’s put this off, my friends. Let’s take this reminder to do what God says toward the end of Colossians 3:
“Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.”
I have nothing to add to this. Just simple conviction from God’s truth today turned into type that I had to share. Because if I type it, maybe I will more fully live it myself. And maybe then, one less person will get hurt as a result…maybe one less person will miss the grace of God?
“See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” Hebrews 12:16
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