Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Blameless Life - Psalm 15:3

Backbiteth Not!

Verse 3 in the KJV actually says “who backbiteth not.” I love that. You absolutely cannot sugar-coat that one. Sadly, I confess that I have been a master slanderer. I’ve struggled for years to break the hold that this generational sin has had upon my life.

Jesus never bad-mouthed anybody. Once again, I wish I could make that claim. The good news is that I can ask forgiveness and repent of my bad behavior when God makes me aware of it and get another chance. And since I am aware of my vulnerability in this area, I can bathe myself with prayer over it and avoid situations where the temptation to participate in such things arises.

To be blunt, slander is a vicious lie! When was the last time you slandered someone? When were you last the victim of slander? How did it feel to be on each side of this sin?

Would you like to know what else the Bible says about slander? Take a look at John 8:44.

Whoa! This is a habit worth changing. When I am face-to-face with God, I want to hear “good and faithful servant,” not the above! Look up the following verses of scripture. What instructions do we receive from the Word about slander? (Leviticus 19:16, Psalm 54:5, Proverbs 10:18, Proverbs 30:10, Matthew 15:19, Ephesians 4:31, Colossians 3:8, Titus 3:1, 2, James 4:11)

Warnings to us on this subject abound. Pray that God will protect you from this behavior and cleanse your heart, mind and mouth.

Don’t You Wrong Your Neighbor

Make a list of your neighbors. Now read the story of the good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37. Who would you have been in this story? The priest? The Levite? A Samaritan? A robber? The beaten man on the side of the road? Why do you think so? Who would you like to aspire to be? Spend some time with God praying for opportunities for Him to teach you how to do His will in this area of your life.

It Wasn’t Me. He Did It!

Who never cast a slur? One guess. By the way, what’s a slur? The King James Version and New American Standard Bibles call it reproach. Others would call it “the blame game.” By the title alone, we should realize that this behavior doesn’t belong in a blameless life! Have you ever blamed someone for something? I’ve done it, too. And I’ve justified it by saying that they really were at fault, but I’ve learned that pointing the finger and placing blame never fixes the problem.

The act of casting a slur means to shame or disgrace someone. Suddenly, I have visions of Drew Barrymore with one of her wings ripped off in Ever After. I also envision many encounters between Christ and the leaders during His time on earth. Read the scriptures below and make note of some of the slurs cast against Jesus and his disciples by the Pharisees and teachers of the law. (Matthew 15:1-2, Matthew 27:41-43, Mark 2:6-7, Mark 3:22, Luke 7:39)

Every time I read these stories, I am amazed at how these religious leaders should have recognized the Messiah in their midst, but didn’t. I’m absolutely awed by how Jesus always managed to turn their verbal traps right back upon them! We serve a truly amazing God! There is no one more intelligent or compassionate or loving or forgiving.

Read the accounts below. Record Christ’s response to the slur against Him. You don’t have to record exact words, just the character trait He displayed (compassion, reprimand, love, forgiveness, etc.) (Matthew 9:1-8, Mark 15:31-32, Luke 7:36-50, John 8:1-11)

Our Lord is amazing. What can you do to be more like Him? Simply pray that God makes you more like Jesus. Then obey God.

No Man Can Tame The Tongue

Yes, the Bible actually says it can’t be done. This passage is about self control. Read James 3:1-12.

The tongue is a powerful weapon. Isn’t it amazing how something so small can cause so much trouble? I regret to admit that I have personally wielded the verbal assault weapon. But Jesus wants to teach us to use our tongues to heal instead of hate. Although you can’t tame the tongue, God can develop the fruit of self-control in you so that your words will speak more life. Spend some time in prayer asking God to reveal any wrongdoing in this area of your life.

When the Lord makes you aware that you’ve violated someone verbally, we must admit our sin and ask forgiveness of the person we’ve battered with our words. Don’t waste another minute. What was revealed during your prayer time? How have you used your tongue like a weapon recently? How could you have used it to heal and encourage? Time to go and ask forgiveness.

Keep Going. Memorize Psalm 15:3.


Anonymous said...

Good blooging lady. I think slander is more of a woman's battle because we love to talk, (we start in kindergarten you know) and gabber on through out life. Yes this is a solid reminder to be truthful and honest in our conversation and let it be seasoned and glorify God.

Anonymous said...

Love your blog stac! Keep up the good word spreading and be blessed in all you do.