“_______________ did ____________!” What is Evil Speaking? And Why Shouldn’t We Do It?
Bill Brady 6/5/2018 Updated 1/7/2019
Most of us have not been taught about evil speaking. Here are two examples:
- “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?”
- ‘Then Paul, looking earnestly at the council, said, “Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.” And the high priest Ananias commanded those who stood by him to strike him on the mouth. Then Paul said to him, “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! For you sit to judge me according to the law, and do you command me to be struck contrary to the law?”
And those who stood by said, “Do you revile God’s high priest?”
Then Paul said, “I did not know, brethren, that he was the high priest; for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’ ”’
The high priest had done evil to Paul.
- Paul called him out on it.
- When Paul spoke out he didn’t know that the man was the high priest.
- Paul was told that the man is high priest.
- Then Paul said that he wouldn’t have spoken out about it if he had known.
- Because the scripture forbids us from speaking evil of leaders.
Speaking evil of someone includes speaking the truth about evil they have done.
- We are not to speak evil of a ruler, of a king, prime minister, president etc.
- We are also not to speak evil of one another.
- Love covers a multitude of sins.
- It is a lack of love that speaks out the sins of another.
When we say “_______________ did ____________!”
- We’ve named two things: a name and a sin.
- We’ve exposed our brother’s sin to others.
- We’ve judged our brother.
- We’ve judged ourselves.
We put ourselves in the place of judging one another to dishonor.
- And in so doing we judge ourselves to the same.
- Because we reap the same wrong judgment that we have given.
“_______________ did ____________!”
- Do you hear the voice of the accuser of the brethren speaking?
- Do you hear offense?
- Do you hear a request for a judge to judge between two?
- Do you hear a request to join one’s side against the other?
- Do you hear, “I’m right and they are wrong”?
- Do you hear, “I didn’t do it. They did”?
- Do you hear, “I have a right to feel the way that I do?”
- Maybe you hear pride?
We are saying, “It’s not about what I have done. It’s about what they have done.”
- We are partially right.
- It is not about us.
- It is about them and our debt to love them.
- And our responsibility to love them more than ourself.
- And our responsibility to honor them more than we honor ourselves.
Evil speaking and humbling ourselves are the exact opposites.
- Speaking evil about another humbles them in the eyes of others.
- It dishonors them in the eyes of others.
- It honors ourselves in our own eyes.
- And dishonors us in the eyes of God.
We choose to cover a brother’s sin with love when we choose to not speak it out.
- We keep them from being dishonored in the eyes of others.
- And we keep ourselves from dishonor.
- In doing this we are both our brother’s keeper and our own.
“God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”
- Casting what cares on Him?
- Our cares about what someone else said.
- About us.
So, what are we to do when someone says or does something against us?
- Cover it with love.
- And don’t speak about it to others.
- And forgive and let it go.
If the problem isn’t going to go away unless something is done.
- Then speak to the other person.
- In an attitude of humility and love.
- If speaking to them doesn’t resolve the issue, then take a third person with you.
- This isn’t in order to gang up on the other person so that it is two against one.
- It is so that third person can help you to restore fellowship between you two.
- See below for the attitude needed in order to be successful in restoring fellowship.
- If this doesn’t resolve the issue, then speak to leadership about the issue.
Always try to keep the number who know as small as possible.
- To cover with love as much as is possible.
- To limit dishonor as much as possible.
All of the time loving the other person.
- And humbling ourselves under God’s mighty had.
- And seeking to not take offense.
- And to stay in forgiveness towards them.
Being very careful to not fall into temptation yourself.
“Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
We do all of this so that fellowship and unity can be restored or maintained.
- We don’t trigger and run because this doesn’t restore fellowship.
- And it breaks unity.
The grass isn’t any greener on the other side of the fence.
- It’s the same grass.
- It may even be less green.
We can’t make the problem go away by running from it.
- Wherever we go the problem will still be there.
- Because we are the problem.
There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.
- Don’t allow this to condemn you.
- That is just the accuser seeking to get you to condemn yourself.
If this page convicts you then just change your attitude.
- And choose to love one another as Jesus loved us.
- He gave Himself for us.
- We are to do the same for one another.
Some verses to consider:
- “Love covers a multitude of sins.”
- “In honor preferring one another.”
- “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called.”
The bottom line on evil speaking is that it is wrong trading.
- Jesus endured all that He endured by seeing the joy of His pure and spotless Bride.
- We can do the same.
- Endure all by seeing others as part of the pure and spotless Bride.
- And, if necessary, go to your brother with the loving purpose to restore fellowship.
- This is right trading.