The Abuse of Slander

Slander and gossip is nothing short of abusive. That’s right. I AM saying that. And not only do I believe it, but I’ve also witnessed this devastating abuse and the vicious attacks. But the most alarming thing is that professing Christians are often a part of the war. 

 

PC Alisha Mullett

 

What is gossip and slander? Gossip is when we’re in any way involved in spreading something negative about someone. When we hear a rumor about someone and we repeat it, we are gossiping. Unfortunately, there have been times I’ve been guilty of gossip. We probably all have. But when was the last time we considered what God’s word has to say about it? James 1:26 says, “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.” Our religion is worthless? Wow. It sounds like God really hates gossip. 

 

In my opinion, slander is even worse and more destructive. Slander is cold-blooded, mud-slinging and vicious defamation with the intent to destroy.

 

The ruthless plan to hit someone where it really hurts. An example of slander is when belittling and derogative words are used to cut someone at the core. Slander can involve cruel, disrespectful or brutal attacks on someone’s character. This assault can also be directed towards those closest to you.

 

I believe gossip and slander are some of the most common sins among Christians. Social media is one of the greatest tools used in this merciless bashing. And, unfortunately, the war is on. There is a vast difference between speaking truth to expose false teaching, and slandering. (And we need to remember we will never find anyone without flaws in their teaching, because there are no perfect, flawless individuals.) However, slander is much more personal. 

 

Slander is often committed towards someone who doesn’t feel exactly the same way we do in an area. This is so wrong! During all our debating while trying to prove them wrong, we end up falling into sin ourselves. We may not be liberal minded unbelievers, but we often demonstrate the same liberal backstabbing.

 

PC Alisha Mullett

 

Slander is personally attacking an individual, ministry, or organization. It disregards the good and heartlessly focuses on the bad. Slander also involves leaving out certain parts of the story to make others look as bad as possible, or it may involve adding false information, or twisting what the other person actually meant. Gossip and slander passes judgment on someone without personally being involved or knowing what is absolutely true. Remember, there are always two sides of every story. 

 

Unfortunately, we’ve seen individuals, churches and even large ministries destroyed because of slanderous “Christians.” Satan doesn’t have to destroy churches in America through persecution, when he can destroy them from within. In God’s word, He commands us to “…put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.” (1 Pet. 2:1)

 

One of the most slanderous sins to commit is accusing an innocent person of sexual misconduct. And this happens more than you probably know. We’ve talked with innocent men who are still dealing with ongoing repercussions of slander, even though their accuser came back and apologized. One man in particular was accused of sexual abuse. But it wasn’t true. Tears rolled as he shared how his reputation is still ruined even after the person who made the false accusations admitted it wasn’t true.

 

Someone’s reputation, ministry, future and relationships can be completely destroyed because of one person’s hateful, slanderous attacks. We’ve seen it. 

 

Whenever your motive is to destroy an individual, family, church, organization or ministry, you are influenced by a malicious, evil spirit. But let’s take this even further. If you secretly rejoice when an individual or ministry is destroyed, you are also being influenced by a malicious, evil spirit. Let’s get this straight. I’m not talking about taking down a horrible pedophile ring or something like that. I’m talking about professing Christians and ministries who are helping others, yet haven’t handled everything perfectly. (Do any of us?) My friend, gossip and slander is destructive. Not only to those you’re slandering, but also to yourself.

 

Never take something as the gospel truth without knowing the other person’s story. And if you’re not personally involved, don’t spread anything. When you are guilty of slander, you are assaulting a person’s character, reputation and relationships. You are maliciously destroying his or her life. Think about it. How is this type of abuse much different than sexual abuse? Both can be completely destructive. 

 

PC Alisha Mullett

 

So why are so many of God’s children exemplifying these slanderous attitudes? Because they’re walking in the flesh. Responding with what comes naturally. But doesn’t God call His children to a higher standard? Could this be why our light’s have gone dim? 

 

Have you, in any way, been a part of gossip and slander? If so, recognize it as sin. Repent and turn away from it. And apologize to those who’ve been hurt by it. Being a Christian means living out God’s way. And this doesn’t involve having a slanderous tongue. 

 

~Cindy (For The Mullett Family)  

 

        

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10 Responses

  1. Ed says:

    I’ve been both guilty, and a victim of slander. It’s cost me one of my jobs, and many “friendships” were destroyed. It’s the destruction of the church from within. It’s in the list of sins in 1 Cor. 5 of which, if committed by professing believers, we ought not to even eat with them. Many Christians don’t know the difference between judging and condemning. Nor between a witness, and hear-say. This article is powerful! May God break and humble us all as he has me, I’m a new man for it. God bless!

  2. Jim Horst says:

    Well said, Cindy! After what I’ve seen on social media this last while with regards to the friends/supporters of several different organizations going at each other, I’m dis-heartened at what I’ve seen from people who profess to be Christ followers. I’m feeling like social media in whatever form may not be the appropriate venue for these kind of discussions. When our fingers express what our tongues would say if given the chance and it’s slanderous or gossip, that, I believe, leaves a bad witness to those who may happen to read it, especially unbelievers. I so agree with your post here. God Bless!

  3. Jeanie says:

    I could write a book about this! Maybe someday I will heal enough to be able to. It would shock MANY people in our circle to know what I know about their campaign to keep me from being allowed to continue in music, the private meetings behind my back, the nasty comments by ministers wives. Yeah- I know about them.
    God gave a prisoner a very plain revelation during one of our programs and he was spot on. The ministers heard him and shut him up.
    Exactly how am I to feel???? Yes, I forgive- but it doesn’t change what I know and the hurtful destruction it did!

  4. patricia says:

    I would like to challenge your definition of gossip a bit. The Oxford dictionary defines it as “casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details which are not confirmed as true.”

    Jesus himself said negative things about people, and not always to them. For example when he warned people about the Pharisees, telling them to do what they (Pharisees) said, but not to follow their example.

    When a victim of abuse, for example, tells about their abuse, it is sharing negative things about others. And yet, the information is not shared casually, and it is their own experience. Many times it is told to either help the abuse end for themselves, or for others.

    I can think of some other scenarios when sharing negative things about others is not only constructive, but wise. However, it is not done lightly, and is done with a positive purpose.

    I do not disagree about the damage that gossip can do. I have experienced it in a fairly small measure, but it was very hard and difficult to work.through with those who had done so. I would simply like to point out that by the definition you gave of gossip – “Gossip is when we’re in any way involved in spreading something negative about someone” would include even Jesus as having gossipped. Knowing that he is sinless, I think it is safe to say that it would be wise to amend the definition to clarify that our Lord and Savior was not a sinner as we are. Rather, that in our communication, we must be as he was. This allows for truth telling, even negative truth, that is purposeful. But idle chatter and unconfirmed reports should have no place in our lives.

    Having said all that, thank you for addressing the issue. There is no room for the murder of reputations through slander and gossip in the life of a Christian. And if there is room for those, maybe it’s time to do so housecleaning.

  5. Esther S. Zeiset says:

    So glad you are safely home and will have a different schedule. We have found a Baptist Church we attend regularly for service and fellowship and then get Millport’s service later in the day. It is a lovely combination when we are in Ga with our son and daughter in law.
    I appreciate your blog about slander. I had to think of siblings as well as Churches when I read it again this morning. Does every large family have at least one “news reporter”?

    Brianna, you are quite the adventurous young lady. You have done a great job. I’m wondering if you are going to Greese solo our with a group? I hope you are part of a group. I’m glad you can go while you are young.

    Alisha, I identify a bit more with you. Health issues always held me back, but God has a special place for you. Your photography is great. Keep up the good work.

    God bless you all. I’ll close like someone else does “until the nets are full”

    Esther for Alan too.

  6. Cindy says:

    It is disheartening, isn’t it? I’m thankful for God’s forgiveness and grace, yet I wonder how many individuals are deeply hurt and turn away from God because of harsh words and attitudes via social media. Thank you for your comment, Jim.

  7. Cindy says:

    I’m so sorry about the hurt you’ve experienced because of slander and gossip, Jeanie. I pray that you will continue pressing closer to Jesus. He’s the Great Heart Healer. He will enable you to choose to forgive, so you can be totally free. His ways truly do work.

  8. Cindy says:

    Thank you for sharing this, Patricia. I understand what you’re saying. However, I do believe that most of the time when we repeat something that is negative, our motive isn’t pure like Jesus’ was. Most of the time it is our sinful flesh speaking. And if we’ve been hurt by this person, it’s even less likely that we will be sharing information without any ulterior motives. Why? Because our carnal sinful nature still needs to be crucified, and we are continually being shaped in the image and likeness of Jesus. I believe there are times when this passing of information happens without malicious attempt, but it’s by far the minority. Thank you for pointing this out.

  9. Cindy says:

    Hi Esther. We’re so glad you all are settling in and adjusting to your new home and location. That’s great news! We pray it will continue to go well for both of you. And, yes, Brianna is going to Greece with a group and has at least 4 or 5 friends who will be along. It is disappointing for Alisha that her health prevents her from going, but she’s having a great attitude about it. Please pray for both girls during this time.

  10. Cindy Mullett says:

    Ed, you’re a beautiful testimony of the changing power of Jesus in the life of a broken individual.Thank you for allowing His work in your life.

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